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Hon. p. E. Blondin, Minister; R. G. McConnell, Deputy Minister. 



No. 12, Anthropological Series 

Iroquis Foods and Food 


F. W. Waugh 

Government Printing Bureau 

1916 No. 1612 

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Introduction , j 

Phonetic key 2 

Agricultural methods and customs , 3 

The Iroquois as horticulturists > ; 3 

Corn culture in eastern North America S 

Communal customs , 6 

Making the clearing 7 

Division of labour 8 

Co-operative customs 10 

"All the females" 12 

Implements employed 14 

Early descriptions of corn culture 16 

Corn "medicines" 18 

Planting of the corn 20 

Thanksgiving after planting 22 

Cultivation ceremonials 22 

Rain-making 23 

Other planting time customs and beliefs ; . . . 29 

Weather-lore 29 

Iroquois calendars 32 

Protection of crops 36 

End of season ceremony 38 

Harvesting and storage 39 

Abnormal ears 44 

Cookery and eating customs 46 

Eating customs 46 

Household conveniences 48 

General characteristics 49 

Methods of fire-making SO 

The gathering of wood S3 

Utensils used in the gathering, preparation, and eating of food S4 

Cookery methods and utensils 54 

Mortars and pestles 58 

The pack basket 61 

Hulling or washing basket 61 

The sifting basket 63 

Bread bowls (bark and wood) 64 

Dishes used in eating 66 

Spoons or ladles ..;.;;.... 67 

Forks or eating-sticks ; ^ . 69 

The paddle 70 

The knife 71 

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Food materials and recipes 71 

Corn as a food plant ' 1 

Iroquois corn varieties '2 

Onondaga names for corn varieties, by Chief Gibson 75 

Seneca names for corn varieties, by Alex. Snider, Tonawanda, 

N.Y 77 

Caughnawaga (Mohawk) names for corn varieties, by Mr. Stacey 77 

Cayuga names for corn varieties, by Wm. Harris 77 

Other terms used in corn culture 77 

Other seeds and grains 78 

Corn recipes 79 

Boiled corn bread 80 

Baked corn bread 82 

Other terms used 84 

Soup from corn bread liquor 84 

Early bread 85 

Dumplings '. -. ; 85 

Wedding bread 85 

Corn and pumpkin bread 87 

Corn and pumpkin pudding 88 

Parched corn travelling food , 88 

Hulled corn soup 90 

Corn soup with nut meats 90 

Corn soup with sunflower seeds 90 

Hominy 91 

Coarse hominy 93 

Dried pumpkin hominy > 93 

Early hominy 93 

Early corn pudding 94 

Popcorn mush or pudding 94 

Popcorn soup or hominy 94 

Green corn on the cob 95 

Succotash 95 

Parched green corn soup 96 

Green corn soup 97 

Green corn baked 97 

Dried corn soup 98 

Roasted corn in the ear 98 

Green corn leaf bread 99 

Obsolete corn foods 100 

Ceremonial corn foods 101 

Bear's pudding 101 

Buffalo dance pudding 102 

Ball players' pudding 102 

False-face pudding 103 

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Beans and bean foods 103 

Green beans in the pod 108 

Green beans shelled 108 

Fried beans 108 

Beans with corn 108 

Soup of dried beans 108 

Beans and squash 109 

Green beans with meat 109 

Sweet soup '. 109 

Mashed beans 109 

Beans mixed with bread 109 

Bean soup 110 

Cucurbitaceae or vine foods Ill 

Boiled squash 114 

Squash baked in ashes 114 

Mashed squash 114 

Squash used in bread-making 114 

Dried squash 114 

Pumpkin sauce 115 

Pumpkin with beans 115 

Preserved cucumbers 115 

Fried squash 115 

Dried pumpkin sauce 116 

Baked pumpkin 116 

Cornmeal and pumpkin 116 

Historical foods 116 

Leaf, stem, and bark foods 117 

Root foods 119 

General botanical terms 121 

Edible fungi 121 

Fried mushroom 122 

Mushroom soup 122 

Nuts as food 122 

Nuts used in bread-making 123 

Nut-meat gravy 124 

Nut-meat with potatoes 124 

Nut-meats in hominy and corn soup 124 

Fruits used as foods 125 

Principal varieties 127 

General folk-lore items 130 

Animal foods .' 130 

Kinds prohibited or avoided 131 

Other ceremonial usages 133 

Mammals 134 

Birds 135 

Batrachians and reptiles 135 

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Fish 136 

Boiled fish 137 

Fish soup ■ 137 

Fish and potato soup 137 

Fried fish 137 

Roasted fish 137 

Dried fish -. 137 

Crustacea 138 

Insect foods. 138 

Historical mention 139 

Mollusca 139 

Saccharine foods 140 

Maple syrup and sugar 140 

Honey 143 

Beverages 144 

Salt as a food material ISO 

Bibliography ISS 


Plate I. (a) Digging stick; (b) corn washing basket; (c) 

planting basket 159 

n. Longhouse, Oneidatown, Ontario 161 

ni. A. Onondaga lortghouse, Grand River reserve, Ontario 163 
B. Lower Cayuga longhouse, Grand River reserve, 

Ontario 163 

IV. Model of ancient Iroquois house of elm bark 165 

V. Husking and braiding corn 167 

VI. (a) Husking pin of bear bone; (b) husking pin used 
by whites; (c) deer's jaw scraper for green 

corn , 169 

VII. Corn crib, Grand River reserve, Ontario 171 

VIII. Corn crib. Grand River reserve, Ontario 173 

IX. Corn crib of poles, Oneidatown, Ontario 175 

X. A. Winter caches for vegetables. Grand River reserve, 

Ontario 177 

B. Method of tapping trees. Grand River reserve^ 

Ontario 177 

XI. Log house, Grand River reserve, Ontario 179 

XII. Bow drill for fire-making, Tonawanda, N.Y 181 

XIII. Pump drill for fire-making, Grand River reserve, 

Ontario 183 

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Plate XIV. (a) Heavy pack basket for wood ; (b) pack basket 
of hickory bark;, (c) stones used in cracking corn 
or nuts; (d) muller and mealing-slab, as used 

until recently for grinding corn 185 

XV. Mrs. John Williams, Caughnawaga, using mealing 

stones 187 

XVI. Shelling corn for bread-making, Grand River reserve, 

Ontario 189 

XVII. Washing corn to remove the hulls 191 

XVIII. Grinding corn with mortar and pestles 193 

XIX. Sifting the meal 195 

XX. Pack basket and tump-line 197 

XXI. Pack basket used at Oneidatown, Ontario 199 

XXII. (a, b, c, d) Corn washing baskets; (e) basket for 

gathering corn 201 

XXIII. Basket sieves, various types 203 

XXIV. (a, b, d) Sap troughs of bark; (c) elm bark bread tray 205 
XXV. Wooden bowls 207 

XXVI. Spoons or ladles 209 

XXVII. Spoons or ladles 211 

XXVIII. Spoons or ladles 213 

XXIX. Bread and stirring paddles 215 

XXX. Bread paddles 217 

XXXI. (a, b, c) Knives of bark and other materials; (d, e) 

corn-husk utensils for salt 219 

XXXII. Some Iroquois corn varieties (in colour) 221 

XXXIII. (a) Green corn leaf -package ; (b, c) leaf-bread 

packages 223 

XXXIV. Iroquois bean varieties (in colour) 225 

XXXV. (a, b) Evaporating baskets; (c, d, e) berry-picking 

baskets; (f) pack basket for berries 227 

XXXVI. Pack frame for game or provisions 229 

XXXVII. Elm bark toboggan 231 

XXXVIII. Fishing with wooden spear 233 

XXXIX. Fish-trap and dam 235 

Figure 1. Eating-stick or fork 85 

2. Berry-picking basket of elm bark 126 

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Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation. 


Iroquois foods and the customs connected therewith have 
been the subjects from time to time of ethnological investiga- 
tion. In most instances, however, such investigations have 
been concerned with special phases or divisions of the subject, 
so that a comprehensive treatment of the subject would seem 
useful. The idea of the author has been, for the greater part, to 
deal with present-day Iroquois customs, or with those which 
have been practised within the memory of the older people now 
living on the reservations, making such references to the litera- 
ture and archaeology of the subject as may be required to form a 
connected account. 

Among the more recent papers or monographs to which 
the writer wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness are the bulletin 
by A. C. Parker on "Iroquois uses of maize and other food plants" 
and M. R. Harrington's "Some Seneca corn foods and their 
preparation." Of these, the bulletin by Parker is somewhat 
the more comprehensive. Both are interesting and cover the 
field more or less thoroughly, with perhaps special reference to 
the New York State Iroquois. 

In extenuation of having gone over some of the ground 
already covered by previous workers the author wishes to state 
that this was necessitated in the making of more extensive and 
intensive inquiries into practically all divisions of the subject, 
as well as in the fixing of a starting-point for a number of ad- 
ditional topics. There is also to be considered the value of 
corroborative evidence as to distribution and other facts con- 
nected with the customs involved. 

The subject matter as a whole is the result of personal investi- 
gations conducted by the writer during the years 1912-1915 among 
the Iroquois of Ontario, Quebec, and New York state, covering 
a total of about twelve months' research, and will form one of a 

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series in which as thorough a review as possible will be made of 
Iroquois material culture generally. 

Among the principal informants interviewed were: Chief 
John Gibson (Sen.) and wife (Ca.), Chief David Skye (On.), 
Chief David Key (Sen.), John Echo (On.), Peter John (On.) 
and wife (Mo.), Thomas Key (On.), John Jamieson, jun. (Ca.), 
Chief David Jack (Ca.), Jake Hess (Ca.), Levi John, Simon 
Bumberry, Seth Newhouse, and P. J. Atkins (Mo.), Jim Daluki 
(a negro living among the lower Cayuga, and formerly with 
the Oneida), of the Grand River reservation. Brant county, 
Ontario; Mrs. John Williams, Paul Jacobs, and Mr. Stacey, 
Caughnawaga, Quebec; Barber Black, Alexander Snider, 
and Peter Sundown, Seneca reservation, Tonawanda, N.Y.; 
Baptist Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Jairus Pierce, Onondaga Castle, 
N.Y.; Mrs. David Williams, Anthony Day, Henry Danford, 
Jacob Schuyler, Noah Homer, and others, Oneidatown, Ontario. 

The linguistic data given have been decided very largely 
by the dialect spoken by informants. A more detailed analysis 
of terms, in some instances, while desirable, has of necessity been 
left for more specialized workers in linguistics. 


a, as in hat. 

d, a sound intermediate between the preceding and the next. 
a, as in father. 

a, as in but. 

e, as in they. 

e, as in then. 

i, as in French pique. 
I, as in pick. 
0, as in note. 

0, slightly shorter than preceding; lips somewhat farther apart. 
ti), as in law. 
u, as in rule. 
u, as in pull. 
ai, as in aisle. 
au, like ou in out. 

Superior vowel, indicates slightly pronounced vowel. 

d, sonant or intermediate dental stop. 

f , as in touch. 

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i, sonant or intermediate palatal stop. i 

k, as in kick. 

dj, asj in judge. 

tc, as ch in church. 

s, as in sauce. 

c, like sh in shall. 

z, as in zones. 

w, as in wish. 

y, as in you. 

n, as in nun. 

y, palatalized n as in sing. 

/, related genetically in Oneida to Mohawk r; pronounced as in lull. 

f, found in Mohawk; slightly trilled. 

S h, aspirants. 

', glottal stop. 

Whispered syllables indicated by small caps. 

Diacritical Marks: 

', nasalized vowel. 

', main stress. 

*, secondary stress. 

., indicates diaeresis between vowels. 

■, inverted period following indicates a long vowel. 

", semicircular mark following indicates a short vowel. 

Ahhriviations used are: 
Ca., Cayuga. 
Mo., Mohawk. 
On., Onondaga. 
Sen., Seneca. 



One of the outstanding features of Iroquois material culture 
was their aptitude for agriculture. This was at first concerned 
largely with the cultivation of corn, beans, and squashes. The 
importance attached to these may be noted from the fact 
that they were called the Three Sisters, a^s? na'degQd^'ng'daa' 
(On.) and were included among those beings to whom religious 
ceremonials were addressed. 

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A few other products, such as sunflowers and artichokes, 
were cultivated sparingly, also a native tobacco, the Nicotiana 
rustica, which was used for smoking and for ceremonial purposes. 
All of the products enumerated, with the exception of the last, 
were welcomed as additions to agriculture, while the various 
grains, vegetables, and fruits known to the Europeans were, in 
their turn, quickly taken up by the Iroquois. 

The large fields and clearings of the latter were the admira- 
tion of early writers and explorers and they are everj^where 
admitted to have been the leaders in agriculture within the more 
northerly and easterly portion of their habitat, and to have 
contributed not a little to its extension among those of their 
Algonkin neighbours whose country was suitable for the purpose. 

The evident antiquity of corn culture among the Iroquois 
and their position as carriers and introducers of agriculture 
among the various tribes to the north and northeast seem to be 
indicative of southern or southwestern relationships and are 
inconsistent with the theory of an original Iroquoian migration 
from another direction. 

So important, in fact, were Iroquois agricultural activities 
that, atalater date, whenitwas desired to punish them effectively, 
this was done by annihilating their granaries and cornfields. 

Among the more important expeditions of this kind was that 
of Denonville, who, in 1687, destroyed an immense amount of 
corn, including the standing crops of four villages, a work of 
destruction which is said to have taken seven days to accomplish. 
In 1696 Frontenac, who invaded the Onondaga country, spent 
three days destroying growing corn, which extended from a 
league and a half to two leagues from the fort. The expedi- 
tion of General Sullivan, in 1779, furnishes many interesting 
items."^ It is stated that, at Chemung, an Indian village of 
forty houses on the Tioga, a cornfield of sixty acres was des- 
troyed. Around the great village of "Chinesee Castle" there 
were cornfields of "not less than two hundred acres, the whole 
of which was pulled up and piled in large heaps . . and con- 
sumed to ashes." There were seventy dwellings at this point, 

' Norton, A. T., History of Sullivan's Campaign, p. 95. 

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besides a similar number of outhouses or granaries. We also 
find it reported that forty Indian villages, beside many scatter- 
ing houses, were burned. The quantity of corn destroyed was 
said to have amounted to 160,000 bushels, with a vast amount 
of vegetables of every kind. Among the European importations 
noted were beets, carrots, onions, peas, turnips, cabbages, 
parsnips, and many others, also such fruits as the apple and the 
peach, which had been introduced by the missionaries. The 
houses possessed by the Indians at this time were described 
as being compact and well-built. 


Corn culture was evidently subject to fluctuation. Cham- 
plain, for instance, found that some of the eastern Algonkins 
had discontinued it owing to incursions by other tribes.' Agri- 
culture was practised, to some extent at least, in the Maritime 
Provinces, as Verazzani refers to the savages towards "Penobscot 
Bay and Newfoundland" as "ruder and less agricultural.'" 
The Abenaki, farther south, depended largely upon corn.' Along 
the north shore of the St. Lawrence, Iroquois settlements and 
cornfields were discovered by Car tier in 1534. At Champlain's 
visit, some seventy or more years later, these had disappeared, 
the region being occupied by Montagnais and other non-agri- 
cultural tribes. The Etechemin, or Malecite, were also non- 
agricultural,* as were the Algonkins of northern Ontario and of 
Quebec as a whole. That some of these began later to adopt 
agriculture is shown by the fact that upon one of Champlain's 
later visits, the inhabitants of AUumette island were found 
raising a little Indian corn,' as were also those living along 
French river and Georgian bay. The Nipissings of this 
region were said to cultivate the land very slightly.' The Saul- 

' Champlain, Voyages, Prince Soc. ed., vol. II, p. 60. 
' Hakluyt, Voyages, vol. I, pp. 70, 71. 
» Champlain, Voyages, Prince Soc. ed., vol. Ill, p. 296. 
« Ibid., vol. II, p. 196. 

Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. IV, p. 195. 
' Champlain, Voyages, vol. I, p. 300. 
• Ibid., vol. Ill, p. 114. 

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teurs or Sauteiirs, living near Sault Ste. Marie, were non-cultir, 
vators.' The progress of the Montagnais is shown in the fact 
that, in 1634, they were raising sufficient quantities of "cereals 
and Indian corn" to trade with other nations.^ 

The Hurons, who are related racially to the Iroquois, 
cultivated corn on a large scale and, besides supplying their own 
wants, exchanged it for furs and other commodities with neigh- 
bouring peoples. The Huron country, in fact, was said to be 
"the granary of most of the Algonkins."' The Petuns, or 
Tionnontati (also Iroquois) and the Cheveux R61evdes, or 
Ottawas, were both found by Champlain cultivating corn and 

All the nations encountered on the shores of Lake Michigan 
possessed fields of corn, squashes, beans, and tobacco.* Charle- 
voix remarks that "the Outaouais," who had retired to an 
island near the entrance to the lake, "sow here Maiz, and they 
have learnt this good custom from the Hurons, with whom they 
have lived a long time in these parts."* This was the last point 
at which such provisions could be obtained in journeying to 
the country of the Crees, Assiniboins, Sioux, and others to the 
north and west.^ 


The fields were evidently grouped more or less closely about 
the villages, and varied from ten or twenty to several hundred 
acres, according to the size of the community. Portions of these 
are said to have been at times reserved for general purposes, 
such as the provision of food for councils and ceremonies. 

Sagard remarks, regarding the Hurons, that "their custom 
is that each household lives upon what it obtains from fishing, 
hunting, and planting, having as much ground as may be necessary. 

' Hennepin, A New Discovery, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 117. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed. 

» Ibid., vol. VIII, p. 115. 

* Champlain, Voyages, vol. I, p. 303. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. LIV, p. 207. 

' Charlevoix, A Voyage to North America, vol. II, p. 36. 

' Henry, Alex., Travels and Adventures in Canada (1760-1776), pp. 48, 49. 

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for all the forests, plains, and uncleared ground are common to all, 
and it is permitted to each one to clear and sow as much as he 
wishes, is able to, or requires; and the ground thus cleared re- 
mains each person's property as long as he continues to cultivate 
and to use it, though when it is entirely abandoned by its pos- 
sessor, any who wishes may then take possession of it, but under no 
other circumstances."' In one of the Relations we find it stated 
that they "possess hardly anything except in common. A 
whole village must be without corn, before any individual can 
be obliged to endure privation. "^ This custom apparently 
had its drawbacks and sometimes proved a discouragement 
to industry.' 


The first step towards organized agriculture was naturally 
the clearing of a place in which to plant the corn and other 
products. This involved the removal of the trees, which was 
accomplished either by felling, or by girdling them, usually in the 
spring, burning away what material could be removed in this 
way and finally uprooting the partly burned and rotted trunks. 

Large tracts of land, as in the prairie regions, were fre- 
quently burned over to furnish clearings for fields and villages. 
The explorer Galinie, in 1669, on his way to the west by way of 
the Seneca country, found, between the lake and the largest 
village to the east, beautiful broad meadows, on which the grass 

' Sagard, Voyage, pt. I, p. 91. 

2 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLIII, p. 271. 

' Loskiel, History of Mission, pt. I, p. 68: "They preserve their crops in 
round holes, dug in the earth at some distance from their houses, lined and 
covered with dry leaves or grass. They commonly keep the situation of these 
magazines very secret, knowing that if they are found out, they must supply 
the wants of every needy neighbour as long as anything is left. These may 
occasion a famine, for some are so lazy that they will not plant at all, knowing 
that the more industrious cannot refuse to divide their store with them. The 
industrious, therefore, not being able to enjoy more from their labour than the 
idle, by degrees contract their plantations. If the winter happens to be se- 
vere, and the snow prevents them from hunting, a general famine ensues, by 
which many die. They are then driven by hunger to dress and eat roots of 
grass or the inner bark of trees, especially of young oaks." 

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grew as tall as himself. In the spots where there were woods, 
were oak plains, so open that one could easily ride through them 
on horseback. This open country, he was informed, continued 
eastward more than a hundred leagues. Westward and south- 
ward it also extended a great distance. "Treeless meadows, 
more than a hundred leagues in length" were reported from the 
south, where great quantities of corn and fruit were grown.' 
Trees were also felled to furnish material for dug-outs, 
household utensils, and other articles. A method described by 
David Jack was to tie some saplings around the tree, forming 
a small, scaffold-like structure. Sods were placed on this, 
water was poured over them, and a fire built up below. By 
alternately hacking with stone axes and burning, the tree was 
finally cut through. If it was desired to cut it into lengths, a 
double pile of sods was made around the trunk where it was 
to be divided, and fire applied to the space between. Chief 
Gibson's description of tree-felling was essentially the same, 
except that, according to him, a quantity of rags was tied to the 
end of a pole and used for wetting the trunk and localizing the 
action of the fire. Both Lafitau^ and Kalm' give similar de- 
scriptions, indicating the method to have been one in common 


"It was the men all over America," according to Lafitau, 
"who picked out the new sites for the villages and who cut down 
the heavy timbers, as the women were incapable of doing this 
successfully, so that the latter had only the labour of splitting 
or breaking it up and carrying it away."^ Among certain 
eastern woodland tribes the lot of the women was evidently 
most severe. Jouvency, who refers perhaps more particularly 
to the Algonkins, states that "the care of household affairs and 
whatever work there may be in the family, are placed upon the 
women. They build and repair wigwams, carry water and wood, 

1 Coyne, Jas. H., GaMnSe's Narrative, Ont., Hist. Soc, 1903, p. 25. 

2 Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriguatn, pt. II, p. 110. 
' Kalm, Travels, vol. II, p. 38. 

* Lafitau, Moeurs, pt. II, p. 109. 

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prepare the food; their duties and positions are those of slaves, 
laborers and beasts of burden. The pursuits of hunting and 
war belong to the men." The writer continues by pointing 
out that under such conditions it was impossible to bring forth 
fully-developed children, or to nourish them properly after 
they were born. Abortions were frequent and infant mortality 
such that hardly one in thirty survived.^ Adair writes of the 
Muskhogean tribes, close neighbours of the Cherokee and 
Tuscarora, that "the women are the chief, if not the only manu- 
facturers; the men judge that if they perform that office, it 
would exceedingly depreciate them." 

Carr refers to the Iroquois as the only people among whom 
"it cannot be shown that the warriors did take some part either 
in clearing the ground or in cultivating the crop ; and we find that 
even among them the work was not left exclusively to the women, 
but that it was shared by the children and the old men, as well 
as the slaves, of whom they seem to have had a goodly number." 
He also mentions the almost constant occupation of the men 
in hunting and fighting. He elsewhere remarks of the Indians 
of this area in general that "whilst, as a fact, the women, children, 
old men, and slaves always cultivated the fields, yet th8 war- 
riors cleared the ground and, when not engaged in war or hunt- 
ing, aided in working and harvesting the crop, though the 
amount of such assistance varied, being greater among the 
tribes south of the Ohio, and less among the Iroquois or Six 

Frequent mention is made in the Relations of the employ- 
ment by the Iroquois of women to carry burdens upon their 
various expeditions.' 

Mary Jemison, a white woman who lived among the Iro- 
quois, after describing the duties which fell to the women, 
remarks that "their task is probably not harder than that of 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 257. 
• Carr, Mounds of the Mississippi Valley, Smithsonian Report, 1891, 
p. 533. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLIV, p. 31. 

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white women" and "their cares certainly are not half so numer- 
ous, nor as great."' 

Sagard notes briefly of the Hurons, a related tribe, that 
"the women are more industrious than the men, though not 
forced to labour."'' 

Both hunting and warfare were arduous, and from the 
formation of the confederacy, at least, down to comparatively 
recent times, the maintenance of their national existence allowed 
of few other occupations. With the removal of the necessity 
for war, the men began to assist more and more. At Onondaga 
Castle, however, some sixty or more years ago, it was still con- 
sidered beneath a man to engage in farm work,' although a 
Brant County Onondaga states that corn-planting was not 
considered especially a woman's job in this locality.* 

A growing idea of specialization in men's employments is 
recognizable. A man, for instance, who through physical 
inability was an indifferent hunter, might employ himself in 
the making of such articles as bows and arrows, wooden uten- 
sils, or in silversmithing and other handicrafts. The idea that 
these occupations were derogatory seems to have gradually 


The custom of mutual assistance is a very common one at 
present, though the prevailing idea seems to be sociability, or 
the principle that "many hands make light labour." "Bees" 
are frequent both in planting and harvesting, the women fig- 
uring prominently. 

There is also an organized society for mutual aid for those 
requiring it through age or sickness. This belongs essentially 
to the more conservative element, and is noted by A. C. Parker 
under the Seneca name of Gai'wiu Qdannide'osha, "In the good 

' Caswell, H. S., Our Life Among the Iroquois, pp. 238, 239. 
Seaver, Life of Mary Jemison, p. 43. 

* Sagard, Voyages, pt. I, pp. 90, 91. 
' Information by John Echo. 

* Information by Jairus Pierce. 
» Williams, Roger, Key, p. 128. 

Brickell, Nat. Hist, of N. Carolina, p. 364. 

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rule they assist one another." A woman is chosen leader of 
the Seneca society.^ Chief Gibson's version of the custom was 
to the effect that those who wished assistance should notify 
the leader. The Onondaga name of the society is Adanid^a" 
saa' (charity society). Help may in this manner be furnished 
throughout the season. The members of the society are next 
notified. The membership may consist of both old and young, 
and each must take his own hoe or other implement along. 
A man and woman are appointed leaders. When the members 
arrive they start to work. The person inviting them must 
furnish corn soup. When they get through, they go into the 
house. The leader on the male side makes a speech congratulat- 
ing the others for their kindness in assisting, and informs them 
that soup has been prepared. 

Any one, whether rich or poor, may invite the society and 
"bees" may be called for husking and braiding, as well as for 
hoeing and planting. The Onondaga term for a husking bee 
is hadinu yg d^, or gahwe"noni" hadinoyo' nda'nt'. 

These customs of co-operation for social or charitable pur- 
poses were evidently quite widely adopted and practised. Roger 
Williams found the New England Algonkins, men and women, 
to the number of forty, fifty, or a hundred, joining to cultivate 
their fields and to build their forts. Seaver's "Life of Mary 
Jemison" mentions that the Iroquois women of the locality 
joined forces not only to expedite their work, but to enjoy each 
other's company. One of the older women was chosen as over- 
seer, which was looked upon as an honour. When the time 
for planting had arrived, the women assembled in the morning 
and each one planted a row. When this was completed, she 
went to another field and planted a row, and so on until all the 
fields had been visited, when she would begin again in the first 
field.^ Lxjcal customs of this description varied slightly from 
village to village, or among the various nations of the Iroquois, 
but the underlying principle was the same. A Brant County 
informant' states that some forty-five or fifty years ago he fre- 

^ Parker, A. C, Iroquois Uses of Maize and other Pood Plants, p. 30. 
' Seaver, Life of Mary Jemison, pp. 168, 169. Cf. also Adair, p. 407. 
' Peter John, Onondaga. 

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quently attended bees, taking his own hoe, spoon, and pail, the 
latter for receiving his share of corn soup, which was prepared 
in the field over an open fire. When no corn was available they 
made doughnuts of wheat flour and fried these in grease in a 
frying-pan. The name applied was gaha«gwagenda'wc", or 
"cake in the grease fried." Each worker was entitled to a 
cake for each row hoed or planted. When one person's corn- 
patch was finished they would go on to the next. When corn 
bread was to be baked in the ashes, or other cookery of the 
sort performed, the ashes and cinders were carried from one 
place to another, so as to provide a suitable bed for the purpose. 

THE OTQ^wi^zas (on., all the females). 

This society, which is evidently of considerable importance 
in planting-time ceremonies, is described by A. C. Parker under 
the Seneca name of Towii'sas or Sisters of the Dio'he"'ko. These 
are described as using the "land- tortoise" shell rattle, and 
giving thanks to the spirits of the corn, beans, and squashes 
(Dio'he"'ko meaning "these sustain our lives"). ^ 

Baptist Thomas, ex-chief, Onondaga Castle, stated that 
the purpose of the society there is "to help when a person feels 
sick." Any kind of rattle is used at this place. The local 
name given to the society is Ggtgwi'zas. 

Chief Gibson, who was well-known as an exponent of the 
Handsome Lake doctrine, gives the following description of 
the society as found in his locality (the names are in Onondaga) : 
A meeting of the OtQ',"wi"zas, or woman's society, is held in the 
spring, about a week before planting. The whole community is 
called or notified. A speaker is next appointed, and when the 
people have assembled in the longhouse (Plates II and III), 
he makes a speech to the effect that a good number of people 
still have the privilege to plant again. He gives thanks to the 
corn, makes an offering of oy^^gwag'wi', or native tobacco, 
and continues at some length to thank all green things, or 
whatever grows on earth in spring. Tobacco is used to "speak 
direct to the Great Mother (Eti*nuha''s'ii')." The speaker 

' Parker, A. C, New York State Museum Bulletin, 144, p. 27. 

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may, according to Chief Gibson, conclude as follows: "Thank 
to our Father who art in heaven. We still have the duty an 
privilege of planting corn, beans, squashes, and other vegetable 
We ask you, our Father, to supply us this season with food, to 
send the game birds and animals, as usual. We thank you 
to-day as we have the privilege of performing our ceremony." 

Two singers are now selected for the Feather Dance, in 
which all take part, and in this way give thanks to the four angels 
and the Great Spirit. When through with the dance, the next 
feature is the game of bowl, the women on one side and the men 
on the other. The articles wagered are all some Jcind of seeds, 
such as corn, beans, the seeds of the squash, pumpkin, water- 
melon, cucumber, musk-melon, etc. A woman is appointed to 
collect from the men. The contributions are placed in the centre 
of the longhouse. The men and women each select a player. 
When a player is unlucky in shaking, another player takes his 
or her place, and so on, until the counters are all won. The 
losing side appoints a speaker to congratulate the winners. 
The winning of the game by the women is considered more 
auspicious of a good harvest than success by the men. Thanks 
are again given to the Great Spirit (Haweni'yu')' at the end of 
the game. The speaker on the losing side says : "Now you have 
succeeded and we produce these seeds to your hand." A female, 
one of the QiQwi^zos, on behalf of her side then says: "My 
sons, we have to perform our duty in thanking our Great Three 
Sisters (A" s% Na'degpd^'nQ'daa'). We have now to ayagwatQ- 
wi''sa' (sing for our Great Three Sisters), and you must help us 
sing." All stand up, the men lining up on one side of the centre, 
the women on the other. The leader of the women uses the rattle 
and sings, all joining in. She then says: "I have finished thank- 
ing our Mother," then hands the rattle to the next in line, who 
says, as before: "I have to sing to thank our Mother," and so 
on with the others. When the women have finished, their 
leader hands the rattle to the head man and says: "Now, my 
sons, it's your duty as well to sing, thanking our Great Sisters." 
The leading man then sings and finishes by returning the rattle 

• Prayer to Great Spirit, Morgan, League of the Iroquois, vol. I., p. 210. 

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to the leader of the women, who says: "We thank our son for 
giving assistance," after which the men sit down.^ The leading 
woman picks up a bundle of cobs of com, or some seeds, and 
begins to sing walking along, followed by the rest of the women, 
also singing and carrying seeds. They go around about three 
times. The leader then says: "We have got through thanking 
our Sisters or Mother."'' Then, one of those appointed to 
collect opens a bundle and gives the seeds to the winning side 
in the game of bowl. Some prominent person, such as a chief, 
is appointed speaker, and congratulates the people on being 
present and calls thcattention of the women to the arrival of the 
season for planting. 


Both hoeing and digging implements were employed by 
eastern woodland tribes. Sagard, in describing the agriculture 
of the Hurons, remarks that "every year they sow their corn in 
the same fields and places, which they freshen or renew with their 
little wooden shovels, made like an ear in shape, with a handle 
at the end; the rest of the ground is not cultivated, but merely 
cleared of injurious weeds.' Roger Williams mentions hoes of 
wood, while Peter Kalm speaks of turning up the ground with 
crooked or sharp branches. Champlain noted spade-like instru- 
ments of hardwood among the Almouchiquois and more southerly 
tribes.* Loskiel records the use of the shoulder-blade of a deer, 
or a tortoise shell, sharpened on a stone and attached to a stick, 
as a hoe.^ "Pick-axes of wood" were observed by Hennepin. 
Hoes of a flat piece of antler have been frequently found on 

' It was stated by John Jamieson, jun., Grand River reserve, that in the 
ceremonies of this kind which he had observed, the women and men sing 
alternately. When the men sing the women clap hands to keep time. Sing- 
ing by the men is called hadow^'dq,' (On.). The men do not use the rattle, 
which used often to be made of a mud-turtle shell painted black and spotted 
with red. The name he gave for the society was yundagp"wi"'sa' (On.). 

* Cf . Invocation to Pigmies at Planting Time: Parker, A. C, N. Y, 
State Museum Bulletin, 144, p. 27. This is not practised at Grand River. 

» Sagard, Voyage, Tross ed., pt. I, pp. 93, 92. 

* Champlain, Voyages, pt. I, p. 65. 

' Loskiel, Hist, of Mission, pt. I, p. 67. 

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Iroquois territory, several of these in southwestern Ontario. 
Stone and flint implements suggesting use as hoes or spades have 
been found all over the alluvial lands on the Mississippi and its 
tributaries, as well as in the Iroquois country. The form most 
widely distributed is an of oval or elliptical outline, with rounded 
or pointed ends, some being notched for attachment to a handle, 
which may have been fastened on either parallel with the longer 
axis, or at an angle to it.^ 

Shell was evidently not favoured by the Iroquois as a 
material for hoes, though it was so employed by surrounding 
nations.^ An Onondaga name for the latter implement is 

A wooden digging-stick or spade, ehe'di'akta', is said to 
have been used as recently as sixty years ago. A model of this 
was constructed by an Onondaga informant.' A notch at one 
side afforded a place for the foot in digging. The implement was 
made of hardwood, such as white oak, ironwood, or hickory 
(Plate I, fig. a). 

Special articles for carrying the seed-grain are practically 
non-existent at present, although the informant last mentioned 
remembered a flat-shaped planting-basket, with compartments 
for corn and the bean or squash seeds which are planted with it. 
This was carried in the hand, or was tied to the belt (Plate I, 
fig. c). The name applied was eyentwa'tha' ga'a"saa' (On.). 
The information was confirmed by other informants.* An 
ordinary small basket is often used at present. 

A couple of types of elm bark planting basket are noted by 
A. C. Parker.* Bruyas records the term "assenonte," which 
signifies "a small sack which the women attach to the belt and 
in which is their grain for sowing. "° Both the latter references 
suggest that splint basketry was less extensively used in the 
earlier days than at present. 

1 Handbook of American Indians, p. 555. 

' Wintemberg, W. J., The Use of Shell by the Ontario Indians, Ont. Arch. 
Rep., 1907, p. 38. 

' Peter John, Grand River reserve. 

* Mrs. Maggie Hill (Ca.), and John Jamieson, jun., (Ca.), Grand River 

5 Parker, A. C, N. Y. State Museum Bulletin 144, plate 19. 

' Bruyas, Radices Verborum Iroquaeorum. 

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The descriptions of corn cultivation by early writers afe 
interesting for comparison. Hariot, in "A briefe and true report 
of the new found land of Virginia," remarks that "A few dales 
before they sowe or set, the men with wooden instruments, made 
almost in forme of mattockes or hoes with long handles; the 
women with short peckers or parers, because they use them 
sitting, of a foote long and about five inches in breadth : doe onely 
breake the upper part of the ground to rayse up the weedes, 
grasse, and old stubbles of corne stalkes with their roots." 
These were burned, no appreciation being shown of the ashes as 
a fertilizing material. Holes were made with a pecking instru- 
ment at about half a fathom or a yard apart and were arranged in 
rows. Four grains were put into each hole. In the spaces 
between the hills, according to this observer, were planted beans, 
pease, sunflowers, "macocqwer"or squash, and "melden." 

A method of planting in beds or hills is described and illus- 
trated by Lafitau, though unfortunately, like many others, he 
fails to specify to what tribe or nation he refers. He further 
informs us that "all that is necessary to them is a curved piece 
of wood, three fingers in width, and attached to a long handle, 
and which serves to cut down the weeds and to stir the soil a 
little." Gourds (citrouilles) and melons were planted in separ- 
ate fields by these agriculturists. The seeds were first planted 
indoors between two pieces of bark, placed above their fire- 
places, then transplanted.^ A reference showing that the 
Iroquois were quite early acquainted with transplanting is found 
in Shea's French-Onondaga dictionary, where we find many 
other interesting agricultural terms.^ Large stones were also 
sometimes placed among the young plants to prevent them from 
being killed by late frosts.' 

Indian agriculture evidently had a most important bearing 
upon the struggle of the early colonists. In most cases starva- 

' Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages, pt. II, pp. 76-78. 

^ Shea, J. G., French-Onondaga Dictionary (17th Century), see "Trans- 

' David Jack (Ca.). 

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tion would have ensued without the supplies either purchased 
or stolen from the Indians, and even at a later date, when the 
stability of the settlements was assured, the colonists were glad 
to adopt the cultivation of corn and other native products. 

The "Armouchiquois" employed both fish and shell to enrich 
the soil.^ The "Tsonnontouans," or Seneca, were said to "manure 
a great deal of ground for sowing their Indian corn in."^ Carr 
makes the statement that the "Indian," generally, "understood 
and appreciated the benefits arising from the use of fertilizers."' 
This evidently did not apply to all the Iroquois. The Relation 
of 1638-39, for instance, remarks, regarding the Hurons, that 
"the land, as they do not cultivate it, produces for only ten or 
twelve years at most; and when the ten years have expired, 
they are obliged to move their village to another place."* A 
method of fertilization sometimes practised, according to Grand 
River Iroquois, was to make a corn-patch where a house had 
formerly stood. 

At present, corn is occasionally planted in low-lying ground, 
without other cultivation or fertilization, the foot being used 
to scrape a hole for and to cover the grain.^ Some of the older 
people consider that the corn is better when planted in the latter 
manner, although the custom may be the vestige of a taboo 
against soil disturbance, which was not unknown in this area.' 
An Onondaga informant stated that in his younger days the 
weeds were sometimes merely cleared away for a small space 
around the old cornstalk, which was then pulled, the corn being 
planted in the hollow left. This was called "gana'g^se'tciy," 
or "scraping with the hoe and planting in the same place again."' 

> Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, vol. II, p. 834. 
' Hennepin, A New Discovery, R. G. Thwaites ed., p. 46. 
' Carr, Mounds of the Mississippi Valley, Smithsonian Rep., 1891. 
* Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 153. 
6 John Echo and Peter John (On.); John Jamieson, jun. (Ca.). 
« Boyle, David, Arch. Rep. Ontario, 1898, pp. 68, 69. 
Mooney, Jas., Ghost Dance Religion, Annual Report, B. A. E., vol. 
XIV, pt. II. 

' Peter John (On.). 

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CORN "medicines." 

When all is ready for planting, the corn is soaked in a de- 
coction made of certain herbal ingredients. The moisture causes 
the corn to germinate slightly, though the utility of the added 
materials is not so evident. There is possibly some connexion 
with sympathetic magic, the other plants contributing their 
vitality, or otherwise assisting and protecting the corn. Re- 
garding what appeared to be the oldest or, at any rate, the most 
important of these preparations, it was stated by a Cayuga 
informant^ that it prevented the worms and birds from bothering. 
A sort of halo was also said to be sometimes seen around the 

A reference to corn medicines is found in the Code of Hand- 
some Lake, the Iroquois prophet, as translated by A. C. Parker : 
"Now it is understood that Dio'hckp (the corn, bean and squash 
spirits), have a secret medicine, o'saga'nda and o'di'sdani. 
So soak your seed corn in these two medicines before you plant 
your fields. The medicines grow on the flat lands near streams."* 

The medicine referred to consists, according to Grand 
River informants, of the submerged rootstocks of Phragmites 
communis, a tall, reed-like grass growing in marshes; and 
Hystrix patula, or bottle-brush grass, also growing in low land. 
The former is called by Brant County Onondaga u'sa'ga'^da' ; 
the latter, gusdisda''ni'. According to Chief Gibson's directions, 

■ Chief David Jack, a Brant County Cayuga. 

* Parker, A. C, The Code of Handsome Lake, N. Y. State Mus. Bulletin, 
163, p. S4. 

A story which may or may not account for the origin of "corn medicine" 
was given by John Echo (On.). This was to the effect that the Allegheny 
Iroquois once gathered up food and other material for a celebration of the 
before-planting or yundag(j"wi-"sa' ceremony. They also obtained a lot of 
whiskey, with which they put in a prolonged spree. This lasted so long that ■ 
a month elapsed before they thought of planting their corn. In the fall when 
the frosts came the corn was still immature, so that they lost the whole crop. 
A voice — that of Hawani'yu' — was heard. It said: "It is your own fault. 
You did wrong." He then went to one family which lived away by itself 
and had taken no part in the spree and told the members that the only way 
to escape permanent retribution for their foolishness was to use com medicine. 
Skaniadai'iyu' afterward confirmed this. 

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the roots of a single bunch or cluster of each plant are to be 
taken, eight quarts of water added, and the whole boiled down 
to six. This is cooled, the seed corn added and left for an hour 
or so, after which it is drained, placed in a basket while still 
moist, and left until it sprouts a little. In olden times, accord- 
ing to David Jack, some one would bring a quantity of the root 
to the longhouse and each person who intended to plant any- 
thing would be given a piece. The directions of the latter in- 
formant were to take a whole plant of the bottle-brush grass* 
(Ca., gu'sdista') and about 4 inches of the rootstock of the 
phragmites (usa''ge'enda') ; these are crushed and added to 
about five quarts of warm water. 

At Tonawanda, N.Y., wild rye (Elymus canadensis) was 
given instead of bottle-brush grass*, one having possibly been 
confused with or substituted for the other. Seneca names for 
phragmites, given by Barber Black, were gasa''geq.da' and 
yen5w§"da'gwa' one'g'.' Mrs. Peter Sundown, who comes 
from Alleghany, gave disdi'sdani' for one ingredient. 

Quite different materials from those named are used in 
some localities. Peter John, Onondaga, employed the leaves 
of the mandrake {Podophyllum peltatum). These were simply 
placed in the water, the flowers of the elder {Sambucus cana- 
densis) being also sometimes added. 

None of the medicines described are poisonous, although 
Kalm records the use of the wild hellebore {Veratrum album) 
by the Swedes and other colonists of the eastern states,* pos- 
sibly in imitation of the Indians. 

Sagard observed that the Hurons soaked their seed-grain 
in warm water, although no herbal ingredients are mentioned.* 

^The same informant later showed a sample of nodding fescue grass, 
Fesiaca nutans, as the proper material, showing that some uncertainty exists 
regarding this ingredient, or that different grasses are used. 

' Informant, Barber Bleick. 

• The latter is simply a general name meaning "medicine for putting corn 
in." A Cayuga equivalent to this, given by David Jack, was en^h^wf 
'da'kwa' onp'gwatra. 

* Kalm, Trcwels, vol. II, pp. 91, 92. 

» Sagard, Grand Voyage, Tross ed., pt. I, p. 93. 

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This seems to be the earliest record of any such custom. There 
is a possibility that a part of the process escaped his observa- 

It is interesting for comparison to note that white people 
occasionally add oats to the water in which seed corn is ger- 
minated. Oats are also sometimes planted with cuttings of 
trees and shrubs. 


After the corn medicine has been applied — to continue 
Chief Gibson's description — the family all turn out. The woman 
of the house stands in the middle of the field and offers up a 
brief invocation, using some such form of words as: "God, our 
Father, you see me and my children. We stand in the middle 
of the field where we are going to plant our food. We beg you 
to supply us with an abundant yield of corn." They then 
commence to plant, usually placing beans, squash seeds, or 
pumpkin seeds in every hill, or every few hills apart. 

John Echo (On.), who lives in the same locality, described 
the man as the head of the family. The following was given as 
an example of the prayer offered: "Gai^hia'de'si'd^' sowani'yu' 
cnawa^'agwa^ade'sa' u'na'ohe'dagQ'wa ^yagowa'y^' agionhe*- 
gwi' un^'ha' unendi' wagwaiiwa'ne'gq, skangtgseyagwatga'twa' 
une'ndi' dasko^d^'^:^'. This may be rendered freely as: "In 
the sky you live, Haweni'yu'. We are ready to place in the 
ground the corn upon which we live. We ask for assistance 
and that we may have a plentiful crop." 

All the cultivation given formerly was to chop down the 
weeds, or to clear aw&y the last year's cornstalks. The weeds 
which sprang up were either pulled up or trampled down. 

A couple of beans, mentioned specially as cornstalk beans, 
were obtained from Mrs. Fannie Johnson of Tonawanda, whose 
grandmother had kept up their cultivation. One of these, 
called o'ia'gekaa', was buff with stripes of a very dark maroon, 
and of a short, flat shape. The other, a small, dark brown bean, 
was called oy^'gwa''^' (smoky-coloured). 

The sunflower was also sometimes planted with the corn and 
beans, although it was perhaps more frequently cultivated in 

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patches by itself. Kalm, in his visit to Lower Canada, noticed 
that the Hurons of Lorette "plant our common sunflower in 
their maize-fields, and mix the seeds of it into their sagamit6, 
or maize-soup."' 

A taboo in connexion with corn-planting was obtained from 
Mr. Seth Newhouse of Canienga. This was to the effect that 
a woman at the menstrual period should abstain from any part 
in planting operations. 

The best time for corn-planting, according to Jacob Hess 
(Ca.), is when the first leaves appearing on the oak in spring are 
as big as a red squirrel's foot. This he believed to be an old 
Iroquois tradition. 

It was remarked by John Echo (On.) that a reliable method 
was to plant the corn when the blossoms of the juneberry 
(Amelanchier canadensis), or ga'a'dugk appear. Peas, accord- 
ing to the same informant, are to be planted in the full of the 
moon. The latter idea is evidently a European borrowing. 

Additional Terminology {Onondaga). 

First hoeing, deyehe"daw4'yi'k. 

Second hoeing, deye'nondai'ets (puts its legs together). 

I am through hoeing the corn, wagat^di'sa'o'ne on§'ha'. 

Planting time, tsa'niyeyentwahugk, or tsa'niyeyendo't'ha' (setting up 

a log) 
Hill of corn, deye'nondai'ets. 
Cornstalk, uhe-'e' . 
Corn pith, oha''da'. 

She is plucking the ripe corn, eng'gwaye'ntha' (all the crop taken). 
She is plucking the green corn, enQ'gw?"yu"ne' (plucking a little green 

She cuts down the weeds, deyehe'dawq'yik or agenu'ge'yaks, or ehe"- 

She is dropping or planting the corn, gonahg'die's. 
Milk or juice of corn, ogg'sa'gei'. 
She is husking corn, enoyu'ntha'. 
A braid or string of corn, djusd^'sa'Sda'. 
He is making a string of corn, hast^"saa'niaha'. 
They are making strings of corn, hadist^'saa'niaha'. 
She is making a string of corn, t''st?''saa'niaha'. 

» Kalm, Travels, vol. Ill, p. 164. 

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She is planting com, eyc'ntwas. 

The corn is sprouting, odiag^^'io'ne. 

The ears are forming, ohw^'da'o'ne, or onQgw^'yuwa"^'^ (sing.). 

Corn silk, ogee'da'. 

The silk is forming, ogee^da'o'ne. 

The tassel, ogw^'da'haa', or ogw^'da^haa'o'ne. 

Pollen, aw?'ha'. 

The pollen is being shed, aw^'ha' wa'sg's. 

The corn is in the milk, ha-sa'' deyuisate'k 4'ni'yut. 

The green corn is ready for use (for boiling), ha'degaiye'i'o'ne ayenp'- 

gwa'yo''- ^ 

The corn is getting ripe, deyonoyane'dao'ne (husk is getting yellow now). 
Corn leaves, odjiQwa^so'wane's. 
Root (of corn), uhe"e' ukde"ha'. 
Germ or heart of a grain of corn, aweya^sa' on^'ha'. 
Hull or skin, on^'ha', ogee"gwa'. 
Corn-cob, onQ"gwq''ya'. 
The butt of a cob, u'ni'sda'. 
The nose or end of a cob, o'niij"sa'. 
The corn is hung over a pole, gast^'sa'nig'da' o'4^na"gt". 


After planting, the people meet again to thank the Great 
Mother and also to give thanks "direct to God" — to use Chief 
Gibson's phraseology — that they have got through with this part 
of their labours. The speaker at this ceremony asks the Thunder 
Man to protect the plants and to bring the rain or moisture to 
wet the ground and to make them grow. The Onondaga name 
given for the Thunder Man is Etiso'da' Hadiwenoda'die's, 
the Grandfather of all. A Seneca equivalent is Hi'ng'. 

The duty of the Thunder Men individually and collectively 
is to carry water to dampen and w^sh the earth and to renew 
the water in the streams, creeks, and lakes. They must, there- 
fore, be thanked, as well as the Sun, Moon, and other deities, 
and asked to protect and prosper the crops. 


When the corn is up there is another meeting and a dance, 
also when the first cultivating and hoeing are finished. One of 
the chief speakers addresses the people, giving thanks and "con- 

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gratulating" them on having done their duty in assisting our 
Great Mother. He next addresses God, thanking him and asking 
him to give an abundant yield. Two singers are then appointed 
and the Great Feather Dance performed. The first hoeing is 
called in Onondaga deyehe'daw4'yik or deyehe'daw4ye'har)k, 
the latter name denoting a large number of people working. 

The second cultivation takes place, according to the inform- 
ant,^ when the corn is about 2 feet high, and a meeting is 
again held. This cultivation is called deye'npdai'i'ga', or hilling 
up. At each of these meetings corn soup is made and distributed 
equally among those present. 

Invocations or prayers to the Thunder Men may be offered 
at any or all of the meetings, as may seem desirable. If the 
weather is too hot or dry, special gatherings may be called for 
such invocations and are considered highly effective and bene- 


Ceremonies for producing or controlling rain have been 
practised by most North American tribes and are frequently 
described by the earlier travellers and others. These seem, 
among the Iroquois, to have been mostly shamanistic, or one- 
man performances, which were later incorporated as regular 
religious functions or cerefnonials. 

Le Jeune, in the Relation of 1636, describes the rain-making 
performances of a Huron medicine-man: "All were crying for 
help, and imploring, according to their custom, the help of the 
sorcerers, or Arendiowane. . . . These deceivers played all 
the tricks that dreams and their own empty heads could suggest 
to them in order to bring rain, but in vain. . . . There was 
one of these sorcerers named Tehorenhaegnon, more famous 
than the others, who promised marvels, provided the whole 
country made him a present of the value of ten hatchets, not to 
speak of a multitude of feasts; but these efforts were in vain — 
dreaming, feasting, dancing, were all to no purpose." This 

' Chief Gibson. 

' Cf. Caswell, H. S., Our Life Among the Iroquois, p. 217. 

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"soothsayer" gave as a reason for his non-success, "that the 
thunder, which they pretend is a bird, was afraid of the cross 
that was in front of the Frenchman's house."' 

The Petuns, or Tobacco Nation, another cognate tribe, 
possessed performers of a similar type: "Onditachiae is renowned 
. . . from having in hand the rains, the winds, and the 
thunder. This thunder is, by his account, a man like a turkey- 
cock; the sky is his palace, and he retires there when it is serene; 
he comes down to earth to get his supply of adders and serpents, 
and of all they call Oki, when the thunder is rumbling; the light- 
nings occur in proportion as he extends or folds his wings. If the 
uproar is a little louder, it is his little ones who accompany him, 
and help him to make a noise as best they can." 

Dryness, according to this sorcerer, came from caterpillars, 
over which he had no control. 

Le Jeune further states^ with regard to the Thunder, that 
"the Hurons believed it to be a very large bird. They were 
led to this belief by a hollow sound made by a kind of swallow 
(evidently the night-hawk, Chordeiles virginianus) which appears 
here in the summer . . they fly about in the evening, re- 
peatedly making a dull noise. The Hurons say they make this 
noise from behind,'' as does also the bird which they think is 
the thunder." This information was obtained from the Mon- 
tagnais, who added that "it ate snakes and sometimes trees."' 

Among the Iroquois proper and a number of the eastern 
Algonkin tribes, the Thunder-bird idea is replaced by that of 
the Thunder Men, usually four in number, who control the rain 
and thunder. In a mythological sketch received from Chief 
Gibson, the Thunder Men were represented as hurling thunder- 
bolts at a huge serpent which they are believed to have in charge. 
A common Oneida term for thunder is ga'sagaiyaont, "the Thun- 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. X, pp. 35, 37. 

Cf. also pp. 193, 195. 

Cf. Loskiel, Hist, of Mission, pt. I, p. 46. 
2 The name for this bird at present in use among the Onondaga refers to 
this supposed characteristic. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. VI, p. 225. 

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derer, our Grandfather."' Low or distant thunder is caused 
by a human being who was captured by the Thunder Men and 
made to replace one of their number who was killed by a giant 
blood-sucker or leech .^ 

The special ceremonial at present held for invoking rain 
is described by Chief Gibson as follows: A meeting is called. 
The chiefs appoint one man to be speaker, while the younger 
members or warriors (hodisg^agi''da') are often stripped to the 
Waist, or clad only in a breech-cloth. When the warriors are 
ready, the old people make a fire near the west end of the long- 
house. The speaker tells the people to go towards the fire. 
All have some Indian tobacco, which they have been requested 
by the speaker to bring. This is deposited in a basket held 
by one of the older chiefs. An old woman is now selected to 
get water from the creek. The braves are called to stand sur- 
rounding the fire, also the woman who has been appointed to 
get the water, while the speaker prepares to burn the tobacco.* 
These are the only ones who take an active part in the ceremony. 

Then the speaker (a chief) calls "ku ku ku" in a high key. 
He then speaks loudly and says: "You have heard the voice 
from the people on earth direct to you. Thunder Man. The 
people ask you to supply us rain to Wet the earth and renew 
the streams, creeks, and lakes." He next picks up the tobacco, 
throws it into the fire, and says: "This is the tobacco, the 
people's word for speaking direct to you. We are very anxious 
to have rain, as it is dry weather on earth and it is very hard 

' Mrs. David Williams, Oneidatown, Ontario. 

' John Jamieson, jun. and others. The writer has more extended informa- 
tion in MSS. 

' Mrs. E. A. Smith, in Myths of the Iroquois, says: "In a dry season, the 
horizon being filled with distant thunder heads, it was customary to burn 
what is called by the Indians real tobacco as an offering to bring rain. 

On occasions of this nature the people were notified by swift-footed heralds 
that the children, or sons, of Thunder were in the horizon, and that tobacco 
must be burned in order to get some rain." 2nd Ann. Rep., B.A.E., 1880-81, 
p. 72. 

Cf. Heckewelder, Phila., 1819, p. 229. 

Williams, Roger, Key, pt. I, p. 70, notes the existence of "meetings" 
to pray for rain among the Narraganset and Eastern Indians. 

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on us that there is to be a failare of whatever grows on earth. 
So we ask you to give us rain." Then, taking up the tobacco 
again, he says: "Here is the tobacco, the people's word to you." 
The braves now dance the wasa^si.^ The speaker says: "When 
they get through the dance, we shall expect you to get rain for 
us." The tobacco throwing is repeated twice more with a 
similar invocation in each case. 

When the speaker gets through, the people go into the 
longhouse, with the exception of the warriors and the woman 
with the water. As soon as the people have all got inside, the 
warriors give three cheers. Two men who have been appointed 
as singers then take, one a drum, the other a rattle, and begin 
singing as soon as the cheers are given. Then the woman with 
the pail scatters water towards the warriors at the fire, using 
her hands for the purpose. The warriors now begin to dance, 
moving slowly towards the longhouse. The dancers sometimes 
whoop and shout very loudly, "like thunder," until they get 
into the longhouse. The woman follows, sousing them with 
water as they go. They continue dancing inside for a time. 
A number of the old men and women then make speeches giving 
thanks. Anyone wishing to speak has a stick and strikes on 
the wall or floor; then the singers and dancers stop. This is 
called ^hanegwa^ei'gwa' (whoever wishes to speak), the expres- 
sion called out by the person desiring to take his turn at speech- 

One of the chiefs generally speaks first, and may use some 
such form as: "It is generally beneficial throughout the world 
to have rain. I thank you, warriors, for your performance. 
We give thanks to the Thunder. You'll supply us with water 
to dampen the earth and plants. We thank you, our Father 
which art in heaven." He then hands a small bundle of Indian 
tobacco to the leader of the dance and says: "This is my word 
for speaking direct to you, etc." The performers then dance 
and cheer again. The striking with the stick is continued by 
others who desire to speak. The women generally bring cakes 

' It was stated that this is called a war-dance now, but that it is not 
really such. It is referred to by A. C. Parker in The Code of Handsome Lake, 
N.Y. State Mus. Bulletin, 163, p. 104, as the "Thunder Dance." 

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> 27 

of some kind and when they give them they say, "This is my 
word." Near the close of this part of the proceedings the speaker 
congratulates them and says: "We hope the Thunder will ap- 
prove of what we ask." 

Corn soup is a necessity and an announcement is now made 
that this will be distributed equally among the people. 

Sometimes, before they are through, the thunder may be 
heard, or often the next day it will rain. A name given for 
this ceremony was hadistai^ndie'ta'.^ It was remarked by 
another informant that two women were chosen for the water- 
throwing performance, one for the deer side, the other for the 
•mud- turtle.^ 

A method for rain-making given by Barber Black, of Tona- 
wanda, was to take a little piece of the bark of a walnut tree 
where it has been struck by lightning. When the weather is too 
dry, place this in a cup of water, and leave for a couple of min- 
utes. It will then rain in two days. 

According to a couple of Grand River informants,' pointing 
at a storm which is going around will cause it to come back. 
This was contradicted by Peter John (On.) of the same locality, 
who said the belief was that pointing at the storm would make 
it go away. 

It was stated by John Jamieson, jun., that toads should not 
be killed, but, that if one were killed and turned over on its back, 
rain would be produced. 

A method of turning a thunderstorm aside was given by 
Mrs. David Williams, Oneidatown, Ontario. She had seen her 
father undertake this at one time by sticking the handle of an 
axe in the ground with the sharp edge pointing towards the 
approaching cloud*. 

' For reference to thunder ceremony, see Morgan, League of the Iroquois, 
vol. I, p. 188. 

• The phratric division is often referred to by naming one of the clans on 
each side. 

' John Jamieson, jun., and Chief J. H. Gibson. 

* Sagard was asked by some Hurons to "kill the thunder," which they 
believed to be a bird. Voyage, vol. I, p. 175. 

Cf. also Bartram, Observations, p. 68. 

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The same method was referred to by informants at other 
places. An interesting parallel with this idea is to be found 
in the following from Le Jeune's Relation of 1636: "Father 
Buteux asked a savage (Montagnais) why they fixed their 
javelins' point upward. He replied that, as the thunder had 
intelligence, it would, upon seeing these naked javelins, turn 
aside, and would be very careful not to come near their cabins."' 

A storm on the Great Lake of the Hurons was explained as 
follows to Lalement: "After having in vain exhausted both 
their skill and their strength in resisting the tempest, they began 
to despair; they invoked a certain Demon named lannaoa, 
who, they say, once cast himself into this lake in his despair, 
and causes all these storms when he wishes to revenge himself 
upon men; and he calms them after men have paid him some 
homage. In his honour, they throw tobacco into the water, 
which in these countries is a kind of sacrifice."^ 

A description of rain-making obtained by Dr. Boyle from 
William Bill, a Brant County Iroquois, contains the following 
method of stopping rain: "If I want to stop rain, just put some 
ashes and coal and some tobacco in a little tin dish, and look 
toward the west, and just watch it."' 

Previous to the rain-making ceremony, according to John 
Jamieson, jun., a number of active young men used to be sent 
out to hunt for the splinters from trees which had been struck 
by lightning. The fire for the ceremony was kindled near 
sundown from this material, and was usually very small or just 
large enough to consume the iCeremonial tobacco. 

As the tobacco was placed on the fire, an invocation or 
prayer was offered asking for rain to make the corn, potatoes, 
and other products grow. The woman with the water next 
picked up the charred wood from the fire and put it into the 
pail which she held, after which more tobacco was offered and 
power asked for the water to wet the corn and other crops. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. X, p. 25. 
For a Cherokee method of "frightening a storm" see Bur. o} Eth- Rep., 
1885-86, pp. 387-388. 

8 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXVI, pp. 309,311. 
3 Boyle, Dr. David, Arch. Rep., Ontario, 1902, p. 184. 

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Good luck was asked for everybody. The woman then threw 
the burnt wood out of the pail, the water contained in it being 
afterward used to sprinkle the dancers. 


Incantations or divination with a view to finding out what 
sort of crop may be expected seem to have been practised at 
times. A lightning-bug (On., djistano'g4'), or a cicada (On., 
ganahaiita"gwa', "corn-ripener"), for instance, flying inside the 
house after corn or other seeds are planted, is the sign of a 
bountiful harvest.* The desired information may be gathered, 
as already noted, from the success or otherwise of the women 
in the peach-stone game at the spring meeting of the QtQwi"zas, 
though it is probable that shamanistic performances were 
frequently resorted to formerly. We have, in fact, a suggestion 
of this in the Relation of 1642-43, in which we are informed that 
among the Hurons "the famous Magician in the Country was 
consulted to learn what success might be expected from the 
corn that had been planted." The exact method of procedure 
is not given, although the people were required to go every day 
to their fields, make an offering of tobacco and call upon the 
"Demon" or deity, which they worshipped.'' 

The services of fortune-tellers are still in requisition, as in 
many white communities, for such purposes as dream-inter- 
pretation, the finding of lost articles, the solution of love affairs, 
and the prognostication of success or non-success in agricultural 
and other undertakings. 


According to Peter John (On.), a sure sign of rain is the 
series of small explosions or puffs heard during the combustion 
of hardwood fuel; the cackling or calling, while flying, of the 
great crested or pileated woodpecker, gw?"gw?; the leaping and 
falling backward of a sturgeon in the water. 

'■ Peter John, John Echo, and others. 
2 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXIII, p. 35. 
' A small collection of Iroquois omens is given by Hewitt in the Amer. 
Anthrop., 1890. 

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Lots of husk on an ear of corn means a cold winter, while 
little husk indicates a mild winter. 

Ice making a loud report is the sign of a thaw; also mice 
coming out and running about on the snow, as indicated by 
their tracks. The latter was considered a particularly reliable 
sign by the informant. 

It was stated by Mrs. David Williams (Oneida) that cold 
weather may be produced by burning the boughs of the hem- 
lock, ona^TA. Dr. Boyle notes that the performance of the 
"Skeleton Dance" in the spring is thought to be productive of 

The following were given by Chief David Key, Seneca — 
the names are in Onondaga: 

When a man is smoking and the smoke blows in a streak to 
one side, it will rain in twenty-four hours. The tobacco used 
must be oy^'gwaQ'wt', or Iroquois native tobacco {Nicotiana 

Cirrus clouds mean rain in a short time. 

A robin (djisga"ga') sitting on the very top of a tree and 
singing is a sign of rain; also flying-squirrels sticking their 
heads out of their nests in hollow trees and emitting a call. 

When it rains during a new moon it will be soft all month, 
also if a warm west wind comes up at a similar period. 

A new moon lying horizontally means lots of rain ; standing 
up pretty straight it means plenty of snow. 

Whirlwinds (uwa'da'se') are a sign of dry weather, also 
cumulus clouds. The latter also foretell high winds. John 
Jamieson, jun., furnished the additional item regarding whirl- 
winds, that a short piece of hair would be found in the centre 
of the spot where a whirlwind has been seen. If this be picked 
up it will cause larger ones to come and destroy your buildings. 

Muskrat houses built large and thick indicate cold weather 
and high water. You will also see the tracks of the animals in 
the snow where they have got away to safety. 

Northern lights (duwa^ni^hwos, "raining away out") 
indicate that the rain or snow is all over and that the weather 

» Boyle, David, Arch. Rep. Ontario, 1898, p. 130. 

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will be dry or cold. The name watowe'thi' (On.) given by 
John Echo, was translated as "going to have cold weather." 

An eclipse (wada^gwa'duqk, "hid the moon or sun") means 
a change in the weather. 

Signs furnished by John Echo were: 

The hooting of a horned owl (On., deg^'ski") is a sign of 
rain or snow. 

To hear chopping or shouting plainly at a greater distance 
than usual is a sign of rain in a very few days. 

When the streak of fat on the kidney of an animal like a 
deer or bear is thick all along it will be cold weather. When 
thick at either end and thin at the other it will be cold or warm 
at corresponding parts of the season. 

John Jamieson, jun., stated that: 

Sun-dogs (On., deyaou'gw^, "throws the sunshine") are a 
sign of warm weather. 

Hens sitting on the top of a fence or gate in the daytime is 
a sign of rain, also corn leaves curling up with the heat. 

A Jtneteor moving somewhat horizontally and in a northerly 
direction, if seen in the autumn or winter, is a sign of warm 
weather. One moving in an opposite direction is said to be 
going after cold weather. 

An item by Chief David Jack was to the effect that when 
the Milky Way (Ca., uha'de' udji''SQda', "pathway, starry") 
stands north and south, warm weather is indicated. Lying 
east and west means cold weather. 

Others by the same informant were: 

The Pigeon Dance should not be put on during the Maple 
Sugar Festival, or it will cause high winds, the movement of 
the air by the pigeons' wings being considered significant (sym- 
pathetic magic). 

Pointing at a storm will bring bad luck. If it has passed 
it will come back. Pointing at a rainbow is also unlucky, as 
it will make you crooked. The Cayuga word for rainbow is 

Jacob Hess (Ca.) stated that there is thought to be a creature 
or being called gatsgow§de"ta', which consists of a pointed por- 
tion, with a long tail of hair trailing behind. This was seen at 

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one time stuck into a tree. The tail was waving and the trees 
were uprooted all around it. This creature is considered to 
be the cause of high winds, and cyclones. 

Many of the foregoing are distinctly Indian, although some 
European borrowing is also evident. 

David Key (On.), an old hunter, stated that: 

Owls calling near at hand in the bush means more snow 
or a change in the weather. Lots of wood should be gathered 
(as the conditions may not be favourable for gathering it later). 

A flying-squirrel's calling near a man's hunting-shanty 
means snow before daylight. 

If a skunk's or a coon's feet are well furred there will be a 
cold winter. 

Thunder in the early spring, according to S. Anderson 
(Mo.), is a sign of an early thaw and spring weather. 

An eclipse (Ca., wawada"gwa"dQ' aga'gwa"dQ'), according 
to Thomas Smoke, when seen towards the south is indicative 
of early cold weather in the autumn. Seen towards the east it 
denotes mild weather all winter. 

John Jamieson, sen. (On.) gave the following list: 

Gulls' calling along a lake or river means rain. 

A robin sitting on top of a tree and calling is a sign of rain. 
It is believed that he can see it coming and that he faces in the 
direction from which it will come. 

If a deer's melt is equally thick all along there will be a 
steady, cold winter. If smaller at one end and larger at the 
other, it will be warmer and colder at corresponding parts of 
the season. 

Snow-fleas indicate soft weather. The fleas are called 
odji'ng'wa' or swincdi' dji'np'wa' (On., soft weather fleas). 

A screech-owl (gwai'iw^) calling in the winter indicates that 
the weather will be milder. 

A horse's or cow's shaking the body means snow or rain. 


Among the Iroquois there seems to have been a general 
division of the year into periods corresponding more or less 
closely with our spring, summer, autumn, and winter, besides 

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that into moons or months. Loskiel remarks of the Delawares 
and the Iroquois that they "divide the year into winter, spring, 
summer and autumn, and each quarter into months, but their 
calculations are very imperfect, nor can they agree when to 
begin the new year. Most of them begin with the spring, some 
with any other quarter, and many, who are acquainted with 
the Europeans, begin with our New Year's day." His inter- 
pretations of the names given to the months, however, differ 
from those which follow."^ 

Among some eastern woodland tribes there was a division 
into ten moons or months. One of the Relations remarks that 
"the greater part of the savages admit only teji moons." This 
evidently referred more particularly to the Algonkins. The 
Iroquois apparently agree upon twelve divisions,'' the influence 
of environment and occupation being shown by the names, 
which refer to the weather or the natural products growing or 
maturing at the seasons indicated. 

The following names of the seasons were furnished by 
Jacob Hess (Ca.), Chief David Key (Seneca speaking Onondaga), 
and Paul Jacobs (Mo. of Caughnawaga) : 


gagwi'di or g^gwi'di (Ca.)' 

gagwi'dini' (Ca., "towards spring") 

gogwide'ani" (Mo.) 

diyijgwag^hQ'dt" (On.) 

y^r^'ke-'^de (Wyandot, "it, turn over, is coming.") 

General meaning: It is time to plant or sow.* 


aggha'gi' (Mo.) \ „.^ ^ . . „ 

. ,„r J ^\ r It turns over, is commg 

a*way§"'r^ (Wyandot) J 

gan^^na''gt' (On.) \ ,,.. , , ,, 

. ^ , \„7 J ^\ r It red has come 
way^nte' 'ye (Wyandot) J 

' Loskiel, Hist, of Mission, p. 29. 
' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. VI, p. 223. 
'A similar tefm, kengSite (kengwite) is given in the French-Onondaga 
dictionary of the 17th century, edited by Shea. 

* Analyses of the terms were furnished by Mr. C. M. Barbeau. 

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agrtrd^ (Ca ) 1 ..^^^ j^^^^^ ^^^y, 
ag^tr'dqu'na (Ca.) J 

•"the red colours have come' 

ganenage"ni' (Ca.)' 

gana'ge'ani' (Mo.) 

yan^Ma^'^ye'de (Wyandot) 

gan^na''ge'hagwadt' (On.) 
Winter : 

gu'sa'a'gt" (On.) 

ogosera'gt' (Mo.) 

go'sri'niuna (Ca.) ' 

yu'cre"de (Wyandot) 

General meaning: The cold has arrived. 
First-hand versions of the names of the Iroquois months 
were obtained from the late Chief Gibson, Seneca speaking 
Onondaga, and from Chief David Skye, Onondaga. These 
two are substantially in agreement, although the Seneca and 
Onondaga differ as to the beginning of the Indian new year 
and the date of the ceremonies connected therewith. The names 
recorded are compared with those obtained by J. N. B. Hewitt 
from the late Chief John Buck (On.), those given in the French 
Onondaga dictionary (edited by Shea), and with those of a 
missionary calendar in the possession of Mr. Stacey, a Caugh- 
nawaga Iroquois. 

1. disgu-'nas principal mid-winter month; begins first new 

moon after January 1 (Chief Johii Gibson, Seneca, 

Brant County reserve), 
dis-go'-na, days great or longer (Hewitt, J. N. B.). 
anisgo'wa, March (from calendar in possession of Stacey, 

Mohawk, Caughnawaga). 
tichkona, very windy month (Shea's ed. of a French- 

Onondaga dictionary of the 1 7th century) . 
Meaning:^ the sun is large again. 

' Shea gives kanenaque. 

' From analyses furnished by Mr. C. M. Barbeau, division of anthropology 
Geological Survey, Canada. 

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2. ganS'du'ha', month following disgu'na"; said by informant 

to mean leaves falling into the water from such trees 
as the oak and beach, to which they have clung during 
the winter. (Chief Gibson): February. 

ka-naq-to-ha, somewhat immersing the leaves (Hewitt). 

onera'do'ga, April (Stacey's calendar). 

ganerattoha, April (Shea). 

Meaning: leaves (fall) down into the water. 

3. gana'du'gu"na, great falling (of) leaves under the water 

now (Chief Gibson) : March, 
ka-naq-to-go'-na, thoroughly immersing the leaves (Hewitt), 
onera'dogcwa, May (Stacey's calendar), 
ganerattogona, May (Shea). 
Meaning: the leaves are quite or much immersed. 

4. he'satas bushes, shrubs, and plants begin to grow again 

(Chief Gibson) : April, 
heq-sat-a, slight freezing (Hewitt), 
ichakka, June (Shea). 
Meaning: it (the plants or vegetation) stands up again. 

5. u'hiaigu-'na*, or hiaiha, berries begin to ripen (Chief Gibson) ; 

another informant, Peter John (On.), gave uhiaii'ha. 
hiaiigu-'na'. May (Chief Skye). 
hya-i-ha', fruits begin to ripen (Hewitt), 
ohiari'ha, June (Stacey's calendar), 
hiarigdna, July (Shea). 
Meaning: fruits are getting ripe, or are quite ripe. 

6. stsge'has plants growing (Chief Gibson) : June, 
sts-ke-ha (Hewitt). 

sesge'a', August (Stacey's calendar). 
Chereske'ha,^ August (Shea). 

7. stsgegu-'na', almost everything growing up and bearing some- 

thing (Chief Gibson) : July, 
sis-ke-go-'na (Hewitt). , 

sesgego'wa, September (Stacey's calendar), 
chereske'gona, September (Shea). 

' The accent following e, in names from the French-Onondaga calendar, 
is the French e acute. 

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Meaning: same as preceding plus suffix meaning greatly or 

8. g^d^'a", food beginning to form (Chief Gibson): August. 
k5-t§'-a' (Hewitt). 

gant^'ha, October (Stacey). 
kentenha, October (Shea). 

Meaning: the field falls or is coming down, the harvest 
is gathered. 

9. g4d5"^'a'gu"'na% season when everything is bearing food 

(Chief Gibson) : September. 

k^-t^'-go'^na, (Hewitt). 

g^t%go'wa, November (Stacey). 

kentengSna, November (Shea). 

Meaning: it field falls down much, the field is quite har- 

10. djutu'weha', beginning of cold weather (Chief Gibson): 

tco-tho-we-ha, again it is somewhat cold (Hewitt), 
djodo'ra", December (Stacey). 
dziotore'ha, December (Shea). 
General meaning: again it is cold coming; i.e. the cold is 

coming again. 

11. djutuwegu-'na", beginning of cold weather (Chief Gibson): 

tco-tho-we-go'-ni, again it is greatly cold (Hewitt). 
djodor'go'Wa, January (Stacey). 
dziotoragona, Moon of Great cold (Shea). 
Meaning: again it is cold greatly. 

12. disa', (Chief Gibson)^ p^ , 
disa", (Chief Skye) J 
dts-^', short days (Hewitt), 
ani'ska, February (Stacey). 
tichha, windy (?) moon (Shea). 
Probable meaning: the sun is returning. 


Among the most persistent corn-thieves were the crow, 
ga" ga' (On.), and the blackbird, djukgii'sda'gagowa'ne (On.). 

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These were either frightened away or captured by means of a 
noose or snare attached to a bent-over sapling, grains of corn 
being scattered about as a bait. 

Later on there were the raccoon, djo'a'gak (On.) ; and the 
woodchuck, una"gGnt, attacking the fields along the borders of 
woods and clearings; or the muskrat, hanu''gie', who visits the 
corn-patches lying along rivers and creeks. Many contrivances 
were designed for the capture of these, all based upon an intimate 
knowledge of wood-craft. The raccoon's habit of reaching with 
his forefeet suggested a small opening with some attractive bait 
at the farther end, a number of closely converging points pre- 
venting withdrawal. Deadfalls, with or without bait, were also 
used effectively.* 

When the corn was ripe and suspended outside upon poles 
to dry, it was often stolen by jays and crows. These were 
caught by means of a slab of bark of suitable length and width, 
with holes cut along the middle to admit the head. Loops or 
nooses of basswood inner bark were arranged around these 
openings and the contrivance was placed on top of the racks 
of corn. The rest of the grain was covered and the birds, in 
reaching for it through the holes in the bark, became entangled in 
the nooses.^ 

A dead crow or jay, di''di (On.), suspended by the legs near 
a corn-crib or in a cornfield, furnished an example to evil-doers. A 
custom still followed is to take a young crow and hang it up 
by the legs alive. 

A device employed for frightening birds was a cylindrical 
whistle, suspended from a pole. This was operated upon by 
the wind and is said to have been suggested by an old man who 
discovered that the wind made a noise upon his flute when he 
hung it outside. The whistles were formerly made of wooden 
cylinders, closed at one end. Bottles are often used for the 
purpose now. An Onondaga name for the whistle is wat4*doya"a' 
(things planted, to scare anything from).' 

1 John Jamiesofl, jun. (Ca.). Various types of Iroquois traps will be de- 
scribed in detail in a later paper of this series. 
' Chief Gibson and others. 
' John Jamieson, jun. (Ca.). 

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At the end of the season there is another meeting or session 
of the OtQwi^zas, at which the procedure is much the same as 
previously outHned, except that the peach-stone game is not 
played. This is the season when the corn is ready to store 
away and thanks must again be given for food. This ceremony 
is called %yQta'gwaie"ga' (gathering corn bread). Nearly every 
family prepares for this by baking a batch of old-fashioned corn 
bread. This is brought to the longhouse. A speaker is again 
appointed and addresses the people, congratulating them on 
the success of their crop or harvest. Thanks are also given 
to the Great Spirit that the people have been well supplied. 
Two men are then appointed to perform the Great Feather 
Dance. After this there is another dance for females only, 
called owesga'nii' (to thank the Great Mother and Three Sisters). 
This ends what Chief Gibson referred to as "the first part of the 

The second part is the ga'datshc'da', sometimes rendered 
as the "Trotting Dance." All take part in this, which is also a 
giving of thanks to the Great Mother and Three Sisters. 

The third part is participated in by women only. 'It is 
also called owesga'nii', and is the second dance in which the 
women alone take part, being thus privileged, as Chief Gibson 
remarked, on account of the nature of the proceedings. 

The fourth part is called deygdaden^'tcqus (joining their 
hands, or union). ^ All join hands in this and dance. The women 
have the "privilege" of joining hands with the men. This is 
said to typify the mixing or joining of the seeds in the hills of 
corn. On the other hand, the women may remain together. 
Children also take part in this dance. Other dances may also 
be performed. 

When through with this portion of the proceedings, the people 
are addressed by the speaker, who thanks them and the Creator 
that they have got through with their duty. The speaker then 
reminds them of the Midwinter Festival, which comes in the 

' This is sometimes translated as the Snake Dance. 

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month of Disgu-'na", on the fifth day of the new moon. He also 
asks those who are going into the forest to hunt, or on any 
similar expedition, to remember to return by this date. 


The most ancient method of harvesting consisted merely 
in gathering the ripened ears from the standing corn, the stalks 
being allowed to remain as already noted, until the next season's 
operations necessitated their removal. The ears were plucked, 
usually with the right hand, and thrown backward over the same 
shoulder into the gathering basket, e^nahan?'gwi''ta' (On.) 
or egeh^da''kwa', which was suspended from the back by a 
burden strap (Plate XXII, fig. e). The basket was emptied 
by bringing it forward over the head and dropping it bottom 
upward upon the pile.^ The gathering basket is sometimes 
emptied into a still larger basket which is provided with handles 
on opposite, sides so that it can be carried by two persons. 

The same informant states that a hut or house of corn- 
stalks was formerly constructed in the field as a shelter for the 
huskers. This was made like the old-style bark house (Plate IV). 

A very common method at present is to tie the stalks, with 
the ears attached, into large bundles, sometimes with strings 
of hickory bark. These are allowed to stand in the field until 
the corn dries slightly, after which the ears are plucked and 

The old style of husking was to sit upon the ground with 
the legs straight, or with one knee slightly elevated. Four 
husks were usually left upon each ear for braiding, the rest were 
removed and carefully laid aside for use in mat-making, etc. 
Those employed in braiding knelt on one knee (Plate V). An 
ear with the husks pulled back for this purpose is called in Onon- 
daga ganu'yu'nda' or waiinp'gw^'yo'gaa', and with the husks 
entirely removed, wa'inuwi'iyak or udnoya''gt". The latter 
name is also applied to stunted ears or nubbins, which are not 
made into strings, but are merely thrown upon the floor to dry.* 

* Peter John (On.) and others. 
2 Peter John. 

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A string of corn is called ust5"saa' (On.), and is usually 
five spans (hwiks niyuw?"gage") in length. 

The husks are torn apart by means of a husking pin of 
hickory or other hardwood, though bone is sometimes used 
(Plate VI, figs, a and b). A name used for this implement is 
enuiya'kta' ga'wa'sta' (On.). It is possible that many of the 
stout awl-like bone implements, which are found on ancient 
village sites, were used for this purpose. The bones of the bear 
seem to have been a popular material, and the young people 
sometimes practised a species of divination by bending these 
articles slightly, an easily broken pin indicating a short life. 
Chief Gibson had frequently seen husking-pins made from the 
ribs of animals, such as the deer. The husking-pins employed 
at present have a groove around the middle, affording attach- 
ment to a leather loop, which is slipped over the middle finger. 
The pin is grasped in the palm, then stuck, with a vigorous 
sweep, into the leafy covering, the thumb closed down tightly 
and the husks torn back in preparation for braiding. 

The husking bee, hadinowi'yake' (removing all the husks), 
gave rise to many social gatherings from house to house, at which 
corn soup was distributed liberally and where the proceedings 
were often enlivened with dancing or story-telling. A game 
formerly played on such occasions consisted in piling up short 
pieces of cornstalk into a house-like structure and endeavouring 
to flip these away one at a time without knocking down the others.* 

An interesting description is given by Sagard of Huron 
harvesting: "The grain ripens in four months, and in certain 
places in three; afterwards they pluck it, tie it by the husks or 
leaves, which are pulled back, in this manner forming bundles 
or strings, which they suspend the length of the cabins, from 
top to bottom, on poles which they place in the form of racks, 
descending to the outer edge of the sleeping platforms, and all 
so neatly done that they seem to be tapestries or curtains stretched 
along the cabins, and the grain being thoroughly dried and 
ready for storing away, the women and girls shell it, clean it, 
and place it in their great vats (cuves) or casks (tonnes) made 

' David Jack, Ca. 

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for this purpose and placed in their porches or in some corner 
of the cabin. "1 

The corn crib, ga'»he-'da'^ is a favourite storage device 
among the Iroquois, although the strings of corn are sometimes 
suspended in the garret' or other parts of the house. Poles 
are placed across, about 2| feet apart, and the strings thrown 
oveir these. The cribs at present are usually constructed 
of boards, with shingled roofs (Plates VII, VIII). In many 
cases a tin pan is inverted over each of the corner posts upon 
which the building is placed, to prevent the mice and squirrels 
from ascending. A few are made of poles, usually with a simple 
"lean-to" roof (Plate IX). The cobs are either thrown loosely 
into these, or the braids thrown over poles which are arranged 

A method of divination, according to John Jamieson, jun., 
was formerly practised as follows: a cob of corn was placed 
in the edge of the fire by a warrior who was about to go to war. 
After an hour or so he would return. If the cob, in the mean- 
time, had been entirely consumed, it signified that he would be 
killed in battle. 

A quite different style of crib or storage receptacle from 
those described was stated by Chief Gibson to have been used 
within his recollection. This was round and was sometimes 
made higher than the ordinary crib. A suggestion of the shape 
is contained in the name, ga'na'gu'uda', which signifies "barrel 
set." It was made by taking small posts, up to 6 inches in 
diameter, for the wall. A hole was next dug about 1| 
feet deep and as large around as required. The posts were 
set closely around the circumference of the hole, the dirt thrown 
in up to the level of the ground and packed down solidly. This 
barrel-shaped receptacle was filkd with the corn in the cob and 
poles were laid straight across the top. Over these were placed 
flat pieces of elm bark, which were removed from the tree in the 
spring and seasoned during the summer. Another pole was 

' Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, pp. 93, 94. 

' Peter John, Onondaga, ^ives enahaiyenda''kwa' as a better name. 

' Storage in garrets is mentioned by both Cartier and Champlain. 

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placed on top of the bark and the ends tied down with strips 
of basswood inner bark. 

Le Jeune mentions the "granaries or chests of corn" in 
use among the Hurons.^ These were evidently large box or 
barrel-like vessels which were placed inside the cabins. Cham- 
plain remarks, with regard to the same nation, that "at the end 
X)i these cabins is a space where they keep their corn, which 
they place in large casks, made of the bark of trees."^ Both 
elm and birchbark were used for such utensils, as well as for 
many other household purposes. Remains of birchbark boxes 
or storage receptacles have been found on Huron and other 
village sites.' 

The size of some of these casks or bins may be gathered 
from an item in the Relations, which mentions the possession 
by a Huron of two bins which held at least one hundred to one 
hundred and twenty bushels. Lafitau, in speaking of the in- 
terior household arrangements of the Iroquois and the construc- 
tion of sleeping platforms, remarks that "the barks which enclose 
the platforms at the top and which form the canopy of the bed, 
take the place of a wardrobe or pantry, where they place, in 
view of everybody, their dishes and utensils. Between the 
platforms are placed great boxes (caisses) of bark, in the form 
of casks (tonnes) and five or six feet high, where they place 
their corn when it is shelled."* 

The construction of storage pits was evidently quite com- 
mon among the Iroquois, for caches while travelling, to guard 
against the capture of their supplies by enemies, and for the 
preservation of such garden products as squashes, pumpkins, 
etc. Lafitau, in describing this custom, states that "the Indian 

women make underground storage places in their 

fields, in which to place their squashes (citrouilles) and other 
fruits, which can only in this way be protected from the severity 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XVII, p. 29. 
' Champlain, Voyages, Laverdi^res ed., p. 562. 

• Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XVII, p. 271, explanatory 
note 9. 

* Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriguains, pt. II, p. 13. 

Cf. Champlain, Voyages, Prince Soc. ed., vol. Ill, pp. 160, 161. 

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of the winter. These are great holes in the ground, four or 
five feet deep, lined with pieces of bark inside and covered over 
with earth. 

"As to the corn, instead of burying it, except in case of 
necessity, they dry it on long poles, and upon the porches or 
exterior vestibules of the cabins. At tsonnontouann they make 
granaries of bark in the form of towers, on high ground, and they 
pierce the bark on all sides, to allow the air to penetrate and 
prevent the grain from moulding." The corn was first dried 
in the cabins "on poles running across, which are arranged around 
the fire, and which rest upon the posts which support the struc- 
ture; the smoke which is produced day and night blackens the 
grain a little after a while, but removes any moisture which 
might spoil it. In winter, when it is thoroughly dry, they shell 
it, and put it into the great casks of bark. . . and they take 
from these as required. They leave in the smoke only that 
which they reserve for seed, and which they shell only when it 
is time for planting."* 

Morgan makes the following reference to granaries and 
storage pits: "The Iroquois were accustomed to bury their 
surplus corn and also their charred green corn in caches, in which 
the former would preserve uninjured through the year, and the 
latter for a much longer period. They excavated a pit, made a 
bark bottom and sides, and having deposited their corn within 
it, a bark roof, water tight, was constructed over it, and the 
whole covered with earth. Pits of charred corn are still found 
near their ancient settlements."^ 

The storage of corn in pits is no longer practised, though 
potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables, also squashes and pump- 
kins, are frequently stored in this way (Plate X). The pits 
are made by digging rather large holes, lining these with various 
materials, such as straw or boards, and finally covering them 
over with earth to a depth which will exclude the frost. In 

* Lafitau, Maeurs des Sauvages Ameriquains, vol. II, pp. 79, 80. 

* Morgan, League of the Iroquois, p. 311. 

Hennepin, A New Discovery, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 46, states 
of the Seneca that they store their corn "into Caves digged in the Earth, 
and cover'd after such a manner, that no Rain can come at it." 

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the absence of oth^r materials, hemlock boughs may be used, 
sometimes with the addition of a layer of bark. Onondaga 
informants at Grand River reserve stated that several of the larger 
species of carex were formerly used, to which the general name 
of uhee"gwa' is given, also meadow foxtail or ud§''?'.' Many 
of the pits found in the Iroquois country contain both charred 
grain and portions of the carbonized lining of grass or hemlock 
boughs. For squashes, etc., the leaves of the sumac, utgo''da', 
are said to answer very well. A general name given for pit is 
watsha'dp'. , A potato pit is called ononu"gwa' watsha'dg'. 

Champlain is probably the first explorer to describe the 
pit method of storage, which he observed among some of the 
eastern Algonkin. Trenches were excavated to a depth of 
5 or 6 feet on a dry, sandy slope and the grain, in grass 
sacks, covered over 3 or 4 feet deep with sand.'' Kalm, 
with reference to eastern North America, remarks that "they 
dug these holes seldom deeper than a fathom, and often not so 
deep; at the bottom and on the sides they put broad pieces of 
bark. The Andropogon bicorne . . . supplies the want of 
bark; the ears of maize are then thrown into the hole and covered 
to a considerable thickness with the same grass, and the whole 
is again covered by a sufficient quantity of earth."' 


Abnormal ears of various kinds are frequently found and 
are usually considered significant.' 

A smutty ear is called in Onondaga odjiigw4:''daa', which 
means a rotten body. A Seneca name obtained was utg^s one'g', 
which signifies rotten corn. 

A fasciated ear, sometimes more or less palmate, with 
branches resembling fingers, is called in Onondaga o''nia' un§'ha', 
or hand corn. 

' Peter John, John Jamieson, and others. 

» Pinkerton, Voyages and Travels, vol. 12, p. 258. "The Indians thrash 
it as they gather it. They dry it well on matts in the sun, and bury it in holes 
in the ground, lined with moss or matts, which are their barns." 

' Kahn's Travels, vol. II, p. 115. 

* Peter John and others. 

' See also Parker, Bulletin 144, New York State Museum, p. 33. 

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A multiple ear, taking the form of a large ear with several 
smaller ones springing from it, indicates that a girl will have 
many children. The rest of the huskers say "uiaga''di'" (On.), 
or "lots of young ones." 

A bifurcated ear, having two or three rows on opposite 
sides and none between, is o'na''sa', or tongue, in Onondaga. 
In Mohawk this is called yuha'dt' o'nasti', or road corn. A girl 
must not eat this, otherwise an enemy would find the way to 
her without fail. When any one discovers such an ear, the 
others all contribute an ear to his or her pile of husked corn. 

A nubbin, or short ear, is called udnoia''gi', which means 
that the husks have all been removed. The ear is considered 
unfit for braiding and is merely thrown on the floor to dry. 

A cob with no corn on it is called odji'sw^' (On.), a name 
indicating simply the absence of kernels. 

When any of the huskers finds a stray red or coloured ear, 
the others also contribute to his or her pile. The name applied 
to such an ear is deyudji'do"ye' (On.), which is descriptive of 
the variegated colouring. 

Sometimes a podded grain is found on an ordinary ear. 
A grain of this kind is immediately swallowed as a means of 
securing prosperity in any enterprise, such as marriage or hunt- 

When corn hybridizes from being too near another variety, 
the hybrid ears are called odinada''h4' on^'ha' (On.), or visitor 

A corn plant producing white leaves is called the old one or 
the grandmother of the lot, eti'so'da' (On.). 

It was remarked by David Jack that in his younger days 
when a husking bee was held, the workers were always on the 
look-out for abnormal ears. A red ear entitled the finder to 
one ear from each of the others; an ear with one or more rows 
missing, to two ears all around; an ear with no corn at all on 
it, to one ear; a fasciated ear, to five ears. A kind of divination 
with corn ears,- according to John Jamieson, jun., and John Echo, 
is sometimes practised as follows: a few grains are placed inside 
a weasel-skin, the whole is placed in water over night, then 
planted, some native tobacco being placed with it and an in- 

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vocation being made asking for power for the medicine which 
is to be made in this way and stating what it is wanted for. 
When the corn grows and forms ears, one of these is taken, 
preferably one which forms abnormally among the anthers or 
parts of the tassel at the end of the stalk. This ear is then used 
by the person (who is usually a medicine-man or woman) for 
divining the appropriate remedies in cases of sickness. To 
do this, some article of clothing belonging to the sick person 
is wrapped about the ear of corn, the whole being placed under 
the medicine-man's pillow to dream upon. 

A cob of the kind just described may also be kept for luck 
in hunting, or may be simply preserved for future use in divina- 
tion. The idea of sympathetic magic is involved in the fore- 
going procedure, the weasel being considered to have a "good 



One regular meal per day seems to have been the rule, 
although early writers record the preparation of two meals 
among the Huron. ^ An Onondaga informant remembers when 
some of the older people had no regular meal-time. Members 
of the family ate whenever they felt like it. A big bowl of soup, 
however, was cooked in the morning. They usually worked 
for a while, then came in and ate the soup or corn bread.* Break- 
fast is called in Onondaga hg.ige"djikga'kwa', or "morning meal." 
A meal partaken of in the evening is oga'sa'ga'kwa'. Now- 
adays dinner, g^ihia'h^ga'kwa', is added. 

The meal is usually announced by the woman of the house, 
who calls, "hauo'ne, sedeko'nia' (On.)," or "all right, come and 
eat." The men, as a rule, are helped first, the women and chil- 
dren coming after. The serving in former times was done 
directly from the pot into bark or wooden dishes, chunks of 

'■ Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, p. 164. 

Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. VIII, p. 111. 
* This item is confirmed by Morgan, Houses and House Life of the American 
Aborigines, p. 99. 

Informants: Peter John, Jairus Pierce, and others. 

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meat being, handed or tossed to those desiring a portion. Some 
of the older people at Onondaga Castle and elsewhere remember 
when meals were served in this way. Wooden spoons or ladles, 
some of considerable size, were used for dipping and eating 
liquid foods. These are mentioned frequently by early histo- 
rians, also the fact that each guest, upon being invited to a feast, 
was expected to bring his own dish and spoon. Wooden eating 
spoons are seldom used nowadays, although the old-fashioned 
dipping ladles may sometimes be seen at longhouse ceremonies. 

Each one ate in silence, either sitting or standing, the only 
convenience being the bare ground or the edge of the sleeping 
platform. It is at present considered etiquette for a guest, in 
finishing, to say "nia'w^" (On.), or "thanks." To this the host 
replies, "niu"," "It is well." Children are told that a failure 
to say nia'w^ or thank you will give them a stomach-ache. Any 
one coming in at meal-time is invited to eat and is expected as a 
matter of etiquette to take something. 

A joke or witticism is sometimes made at the expense of the 
women when a meal is unduly delayed. This is to the effect 
that a number of people were seen coming along the road re- 
duced to skeletons, or "all bones." The explanation is that 
this was caused by starvation, to which the narrators were also 
exposed by having to wait so long for dinner or supper. 

Cleanliness, from a European point of view, was not always 
a desideratum in earlier times. Graphic descriptions are fur- 
nished by the missionaries of the incrustation of food inside the 
pots and the general carelessness in cooking. Fresh meat 
became coated with hairs and dirt. The dogs fought for a share 
and constant watchfulness was necessitated to prevent one's 
food from being snatched away. Grease was wiped upon the 
clothing, the hair, or upon the dogs. Informants at Grand 
River, Tonawanda, and elsewhere mentioned the use of rotten 
pine or chestnut for the absorption of grease or perspiration, 
or for dusting babies.* This is made into a fine dark red powder. 
A Mohawk name for the material is ohcsa'. 

A belief noted at Oneidatown, Ontario, is that food dropped 
during a meal must not be picked up, as this is for the dead. 

1 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 28S; also vol. V, p. 103. 

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If picked up, it must be laid to one side.^ The functions of the 
U'gi'we society, in fact, are based upon the belief that the dead 
suffer from hunger and require satisfaction at intervals. Neglect 
in this respect is followed by continued visitations and ultimate 

Smoking followed eating, perhaps more especially on oc- 
casions of ceremony.'' 

Terms Used in Connexion with Eating.* 

Good appetite, ekwanp'waks. 
I am hungry, aksis. 
Glutton, sadetcl' or sas4"gw4. 
I eat, waga'deko'nia'. 
You eat, wa'sadeko'nia'. 
He eats, hodekoni'. 
She eats, godeko'ni'. 
Oven, unta'go'ndakwa'gi". 
Bread-pan, unta'go'ndakwa'. 


A characteristic feature of early Iroquois architecture was 
the long communal cabin, constructed usually of elm bark and 
accomodating a number of families. Champlain gives the 
following general description: "Their cabins are in the shape 
of tunnels or arbors, and are covered with the bark of trees. 
They are from twenty-five to thirty fathoms long, more or less, 
and six wide, having a passageway through the middle from 
ten to twelve feet wide, which extends from one end to the other. 
On the two sides there is a kind of bench, four feet high, where 
they sleep in the summer, in order to avoid the annoyance of 
the fleas. . . In winter they sleep on the ground on mats 
near the fire. . . . They lay up a stock of dry wood, with 
which they fill their cabins, to burn in winter. At the extremity 
of the cabins there is a space, where they preserve their Indian 

'Mrs. David Williams. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXVII, p. 249. 

' These are in Onondaga. 

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corn, which they put into great casks made of the bark of trees. 
They have pieces of wood suspended, on which they put their 
clothes, provisions, and other things, for fear of the mice, of 
which there are great numbers. In one of these cabins there 
may be twelve fires, and twenty-four families. It smokes 
excessively, from which it follows that many receive serious 
injury to the eyes. . . . There is no window nor any opening, 
except that in the upper part of their cabins for the smoke to 
dscape."^ Sagard, who gives a similar description, refers to the 
porches which were constructed at either end of the cabins, and 
which served for the storage of corn, etc. Very few aboriginal 
features are seen in present-day houses (Plate XI), though poles 
are still suspended above the fire for drying clothing and various 
articles of food.^ 


The geneiBl improvidence ascribed to many of the eastern 
tribes is evidently inapplicable to the Iroquois proper, though all 
Iroquoian tribes were possibly not so provident. Lafitau, for 
instance, remarks of the Hurons that "necessity, to which they 
are often reduced by this sort of liberality, obliges them to eat 
everything and to enjoy the fare. As, in their times of plenty, 
they allow no time for meat to spoil, placing it still alive in 
the pot, or roasting and turning it on little spits of wood, one 
end of which they stick in the ground, so they do not hesitate 
to eat stinking and almost rotten meat when they have no other. 
They never skim the pot, in order to lose nothing. They cook 
frogs whole and swallow them without disgust. They dry the 
intestines of deer without cleaning them and find them as tasty 
as we find woodcock. . . They have not abandoned the 
acorn. . They gather beech-nuts with care and crush them. 
They eat potatoes with pleasure, various insipid roots, and all 
sorts of wild and bitter fruits; they give these no time to ripen 

> Champlain, Prince Society ed., vol. Ill, pp. 160, 161. 

" Sagard says: "In the centre of their dwellings there are two great poles 
suspended, which they call ouaronta, from which they hang their pot-hooks, 
their clothing, provisions and other things to protect them from mice, as well 
as to dry them." — Voyage, vol. I, p. 83. 

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and to grow, for fear that others might gather them first. In 
order the better to despoil a tree they cut it down at the root, 
without worrying about the advantages they might derive in 
succeeding years. "^ 


A most important factor in food preparation was the pro- 
duction of fire. In more ancient times this was produced by 
friction. Among the methods in vogue among the Iroquois 

Flint and pyrites.'' 

A fire-drill consisting of a simple spindle twirled between 

the hands. 
The pump drill, in which the spindle was given momentum 

by means of a spindle-whorl of wood. 
The bow drill, in which the spindle was operated by a bow, 
the string of which was twisted once around the spindle 
(Plate XII). 
The fire plow, in which the end of a stick was rubbed vigor- 
ously back and forth in a groove. 
The fire saw, in which one stick was rubbed across another. 
Of these, the flint and pyrites, pump drill, bow drill, fire 
plow, and fire saw are said to have been used within the recol- 
lection of some of the older people. The fact of such a variety 
of methods being found in use contemporaneously evidently 
denotes accultural influences. The pump drill was quite com- 
monly employed in the production of "new fire" at the New 
Year Festival, also in the Sun Ceremony.' This implement 

' Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages, pt. II, pp. 91, 92. 
Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXIII, pp. 63, 65. 

' Le Jeune, in describing the fire-making methods of the Montagnais, 
states that "they strike together two metallic stones. ... in place 
of matches, they use a little piece of tinder, a dry and rotten wood . . . 
when they have lighted it, they put it into pulverized cedar bark; and, by 
gently blowing, this bark takes fire." — Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., 
vol. VI, p. 217. 

• Prevailed among Iroquois and Algonkin families north of the Ohio; 
extended west of the Mississippi, and was in all cases attended with cere- 
monies, though not observed in the more northerly regions with as much 

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consisted of a spindle with a disk of wood ; a cross-piece, to the 
ends of which a slack cord was attached, the centre of the cord 
being fastened to the top of the spindle; and lastly, a hearth of 
dry wood for drilling upon. The drill was operated by giving 
the cord a few twists around the spindle, then alternately press- 
ing downward and relaxing the pressure, which caused the 
spindle to revolve rapidly in a small depression at one side of 
the hearth. A small groove at one side of this allowed the ignited 
dust to fall upon some tinder placed below"^; a socket was 
sometimes applied to the top of the spindle to increase the 

Hennepin, in speaking of the fire-making methods of the 
Illinois and neighbouring tribes, states that a stick or spindle 
of some hard wood was used upon a hearth of cedar; this was the 
spindle twirled between the hands.^ The same method was 
employed by the Huron,' as well as by many other tribes through- 

solemnity as in the Gulf State region. — See Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes of U.S., 
vol. V, p. 104. 

Cf. Brinton, Myths of the New World, p. 183, regarding mythical origin 
of fire. 

• Morgan, League of the Iroquois, vol. II, p. 39. 

* Hennepin, A New Discovery, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 24t»; Loskiel, 
pt. I, p. 54. 

' Le Jeune remarks, with regard to the Montagnais and more particularly 
to the Hurons: "They have still another kind of fuse. They twist a little 
cedar stick, and this friction causes fire, which lights some tinder.'" — Jesuit 
Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., VI, p. 267. 

Sagard gives the Huron method in detail: "They take two sticks of willow, 
basswood, or some other kind, dry and light, then arrange two sticks of willow, 
basswood, or some other kind, dry and light, then arranging one about the 
length of the forearm or less, and of the thickness of the finger, and having 
along the side a small hole about the size of a knife point or a beaver's tooth, 
and a little groove with a notch at one side, to allow to fall upon some tinder 
placed below the powder which is brought to ignition. They place the point of 
another stick of the same wood, and as large as the little finger or less, in the 
hole thus commenced and turn this in the hands so vigorously and so long 
that they light the tinder, and then with some small, dry sticks they kindle 
a fire for cooking. All wood, however, is not suitable for making fire. . . . 
At times, when they have difficulty, they powder up in the hole a little char- 
coal or a little dry powdered wood which they get from some stump; if they 
have no large stick (for a hearth) they take two round ones, tie them together 

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out the continent. A Cayuga informant' gives, as the best 
materials for spindles, the wood of the sHppery elm and the 
hickory, with a hearth of basswood, maple, or any hard wood. 
Among the materials used by Tonawanda fire-makers^ for the 
same purpose, were slippery elm and white ash, with a hearth 
of dry basswood. Ironwood was employed for both spindles 
and hearths by the Onondaga and others. Button-wood is 
also mentioned as a spindle material. Chief Gibson described a 
drill in which the spindle was of hickory and the hearth of 
pitch pine. 

A Cayuga informant' remembered the use of an unusual 
form of pump drill, in which the spindle was over 4 feet in 
length, a comparatively small whorl being required, owing to 
the weight of the spindle (Plate XIII). It was also stated 
that in olden times the whorl or disk was made of a small branch 
bent into a circle and interlaced with bark.* The whorl is 
considered to be better a little out of centre to ensure greater 

The fire plow was also in use among the Onondaga, though 
more rarely employed. 

The fire saw method was described by John Jamieson, jun. 
A fallen ironwood tree is found and a dry spot in it is selected. 
A stick of the same wood is cut and is rubbed back and forth 
across the log by two persons. The tinder mentioned was the 
Polporus applanatus fungus (Una'sa'), dried and shredded. 

The bow drill, as used at Tonawanda, consisted of a spindle 
of white ash or slippery elm, with a hearth of dry basswood. 
The string for the bow was the inner bark of the moose or leather- 
wood. The punk was described as rotten maple, prepared for 

by their ends, and placing the knee upon them to hold them, place between 
them the point of another stick made like a weaver's shuttle, and whirl this 
by the other end between the hands, as before." — Voyage, I, pp. 48, 49. 

H. S. Caswell, Our Life Among the Iroquois, p. 237: fire-making by 
twirling a stick between the hands is described by Squire Johnson as an old 
Iroquois method. 

' John Jamieson, jun. 

' Alex. Snider. 

' Bob Smoke. 

* John Jamieson, jun. 

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use by drying. Other kinds of punk mentioned were: beech 
rot, dried; a species of Polyporus^ found growing on pines; 
fat pine, slivered up small; also dry hemlock twigs. These 
were packed closely around the base of the drill and kindled 
into a fire by blowing. 

Among the European methods used later were: the flint 
and steel, and the burning glass, both of which were articles of 
trade in early days. The inflammability of the wadding used 
in the old-fashioned muzzle-loaders was noted and fire was 
frequently kindled by setting off a charge of powder. 

Terms Used in Fire-making {On.). 

Fire-drill, edjisdonia''ta'. 

Spindle, gai^du'da'. 

Whorl, dewa'ci^'d(?'da"gwi'. 

Cross-piece, gan^tcu'da'gwt' or degayadp'da'gwf. 

Rock used for making fire, deyedji'sdae'sta' ust^'ha' (to 

make fire-rock). 
Flint, uhu'e'. 
New fire, udjisda'se'. 
Pitch pine, ushe'sdaa' or ushe'sdada'. 
Punk, una'sa' (Ca. unra"sa')- 
He makes fire with a drill, ^hadjisdo-'nia'. 


The provision of firewood was evidently as much a problem 
in former times as now, and village sites were frequently changed, 
at least partly, on this account.^ Sagard informs us that "they 

' Polyporus igniarius (or Fames igniarius). 

2 Loskiel, pt. I, pp. 55, 56: "They never think of sparing the forest trees, 
for they not only burn more wood than is necessary for house consumption, 
but destroy them by peeling. The greatest havoc among the forest trees is 
made by fires, which happen either accidentally, or are kindled by the Indians, 
who in spring, and sometimes in autumn, burn the withered grass, that a 
fresh crop may grow for the deer. These fires run on for many miles, burning 
the bark at the roots of the trees in such a manner, that they die. A forest 
of fir trees is in general destroyed by these fires. 

"From these and other causes, the fire-wood at last begins to be scarce, 
and necessity obliges them to seek other dwelling-places." 

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fill with dry wood for winter use all the space beneath the plat- 
forms, which they call garihagueu and eindichaguet; but the 
big trunks or logs, which serve to hold the fire, raised a little at 
one end, they pile in front of their cabins, or store them in the 
entries, which they call aque. All the women assist in provid- 
ing wood, which begins with the months of March and April. 
They use only good wood, preferring to go far for it rather 
than to use green or smoky fuel. If they do not find perfectly 
dry. trees, they fell those having dry branches, which they break 
into splinters and cut an equal length. They do not use 
fagots nor the very large trunks, which they allow to lie and rot, 
as they have no saws to saw them.""^ 

A social custom which was frequently practised by the 
women was the providing of the winter's supply of firewood for 
brides who were married too late in the season to undertake this 
duty for themselves. In Sagard's vocabulary of the Huron 
language an allusion is found to the cry which was uttered through 
the village by the crier, calling upon all the wood-gatherers to 
go to the forest to collect the general supply. This was escoir- 
haykion! escoirhaykion ! (To the forest! To the forest!). 

The gathering of wood is still very often done by the women, 
and by the older men, who sometimes employ the pack-basket 
(Plate XIV, fig. a), or the hand-sleigh, for transportation. 



Cookery methods, generally speaking, have evidently 
undergone considerable change, more particularly during the 
historical period. Not only were there modifications in fire- 
making, but also in the utensils employed, the changes in the 
latter being probably the most important. Lafitau remarks 
of this that "before the Europeans brought them kettles or pots 
from across the ocean they (the women) made use of earthen 
vessels, which they manufactured with some skill, giving them 
a spherical form at the bottom and considerable width at the 

' Sagard, Voyage, I, p. 82. 

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top; and after having dried them in the sun, they burnt them 
in a slow fire made with bark. The more migratory tribes 
possrased only wooden cooking utensils, less fragile, but easier 
of transportation. They cooked their food in these by throwing 
into the water, one after the other, heated stones. This gra- 
dually heated the water, and caused it to boil sufficiently to 
satisfy people who were accustomed to partly-cooked food."' 
Bressani comments on a lack of suitable cooking appliances 
among the Hurons: "Before knowing the Europeans, as they 
had no kettles for cooking victuals, especially on their journeys, 
they made a ditch in the earth, and filled it with water, which 
they caused to boil by cooling in it a number of stones, first 
heated red-hot for this purpose. "^ The inference is that this 
was a hasty method employed when the ordinary utensils were 
not at hand. 

Informants at Grand River and elsewhere state that boiling 
was sometimes practised by placing a bark vessel in direct 
contact with the fire, a fact which is confirmed by historical 
references. Squire Johnson, an aged Seneca, remarks that 
"they cooked their meat in a bark kettle, which they made 
by using a flint axe or chisel to separate the bark from an elm 
tree. They tied the large pieces of bark together at the ends 
with strips of the inner bark, making a dish large enough to 
hold the meat, with water enough to boil it. This bark kettle 
was suspended between two sticks over the fire, and before the 
kettle was burnt through the meat was cooked."' It is said 
that by protecting the edges of the vessel from the flames it 
answered this purpose very well. 

While the greater part of the foods used by the Iroquois 
seems to have been prepared by boiling, such methods as baking 
on a flat stone*, roasting or cooking in the red-hot embers and 
broiling on spits or sticks stuck into the ground before the fire, 

* Lafitau, Moeurs, vol. II, p. 87. 

Cf. Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. I, p. 285. 
^ Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXVIII, p. 2SS. 
' Caswell, H. S., Our Life Among the Iroquois, pp. 237, 238. 

* Adair, Hist, of the North American Indians, pp. 407, 408. 
This method is still remembered by some of the older people. 

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were also extensively practised. Pits of suitable size were 
frequently dug in the side of some convenient bank or clay de- 
posit. A fire was built in these, the coals removed, and corn, 
squashes, roots, and other foods baked by covering over with 
ashes. Archaeological remains of such pits are common. 

The use of earthenware pots in the boiling of meat, etc., 
is attested by many early writers and observers, and is further 
suggested by the form of the utensils found and the evident 
employment of many of them in cooking operations as indicated 
by the! nterior incrustations. 

The rounded bottoms were evidently adapted equally for 
standing in the light soil, which usually formed the floors of the 
cabins, or for maintaining an upright position in the fire, the 
latter of which is suggested by such illustrations as those of 
Lafitau* and others. 

The extension rim found on most of the pots, suggests that 
they could have been tied about the neck with bark cord or vines 
and suspended from poles arranged either tripod-fashion, or 
between crotches. Schoolcraft figures an arrangement of this 

The introduction of the European pot or kettle not only 
increased the facilities for preparing food, but was both more 
economical and convenient than its predecessors, one of the 
immediate results being that the making of pottery was discon- 
tinued, perhaps gradually at first, but so completely in most 
cases that no recollection remains of its method of manufacture, 
though a number of more or less complete descriptions are given 
by various writers.' 

The kettles obtained in trade were mostly of copper and 
brass, though cast-iron seems also to have been in vogue to 

' Lafitau, Moeurs, II, plate V, fig. 1. 
Beverly, Hist, of Virginia, see plate. 
White, John, Roanoke Colony, 1585-88. 
' Schoolcraft, Historical and Statistical Information, pt. I, plate XXII. 
' Sagard, Voyages, I, p. 99. Also Histoire du Canada, Tross ed., p. 260. 
Holmes, 20th Ann. Rep. B.A.E., Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern 
United States, pp. 1-201. 

Gushing, F. H., The Germ of Shoreland Pottery, Memoirs Inter. Congress 
of Anthrop., Chicago, 1894. 

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some extent, and small pots of the latter material have been 
preserved by some as relics of these earlier times. The iron 
pot is most frequently used at present. 

Fire and Cookery Terms {Onondaga). 

Fire, ode'ka'. 

Ashes, og^'he'. 

Firewood, oy^'da'. 

Charcoal or coal, uswq,'da' (something black). 

Smoke, oy^^gwaa'. 

Smoke coming out of a chimney, oy?* gwae'da'. 

Blaze or flames, o'dQ"gwa'. 

Match, dega'da'kwa.' 

I make a fire, gadega''ta'. 

She makes a fire, Qdega"ta'. 

He makes a fire, hadega^ta*. 

Pole for suspending a pot, o'a'na'. 

Crotch used in suspension of pole, ga'sa'e'. 

Pothook (of wood), ga*su''daa'. 

Large pot, gana'dju'wa'ne". 

Brass kettle, ga^na'dji^ag'wi'. 

Small pot (iron), nigana"djiaa'. 

Boiling, o-ya'h^s. 

Cooking, goko'ni". 

One who cooks, ekonia'ha'. 

Roasting in a pan, wade^skg'da' Qde'skQda"kwa'gt". 

Frying-pan, gde^skgda'kwa'. 

An interesting enumeration of cooking methods and uten- 
sils is given by Mary Jemison : "Our cooking consisted in pound- 
ing our corn into samp or hominy, boiling the hominy, 
making now and then a cake and baking it in the ashes, and in 
boiling and roasting our venison. As our cooking and eating 
utensils consisted of a hommany block and pestle, a small kettle, 
a knife or two, and a few vessels of bark or wood, it required but 
little time to keep them in order for use."' 

' Seaver, Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, p. 43. 

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Quite a number of Indian families still retain the corn mor- 
tar (Plate XVIII), or "hommany block" referred to by Mary 
Jemison. This may usually be seen standing upsidedown just 
outside the door, and is very frequently made of the black, red, 
or other varieties of oak, and the pestle of maple, ironwood, ash, 
or hickory. Buttonwood was mentioned by a Tonawanda in- 
formant as a suitable mortar material. Elm is also used at times, 
but is not considered as good. 

In the manufacture of the mortar, a tree of suitable dimen- 
sions is felled and allowed to lie until it becomes properly seasoned. 
A block or section is then cut off pretty well up the trunk 
where the diameter is most uniform. A number of inquiries 
and measurements made indicate that the height is made to 
conform with the convenience of the user or owner. A hemis- 
pherical or slightly conical hollow is next excavated in one end 
of the block by burning and then hacking or scraping away the 
burnt material. The depth of the hollow varies somewhat, but 
is usually from 8 to 12 inches. 

The pestle is double-ended, with a place for grasping the 
centre, though only one end is used until this becomes worn or 
broken, the purpose of the opposite end being principally to give 
weight and balance. 

The pestle is grasped firmly in both hands and brought down 
smartly, a few minutes vigorous pounding being sufficient to 
produce meal for a batch of bread or hominy. Anywhere from 
one to four people may pound at once, the pestles being brought 
down alternately or one after the other. 

A peculiar circular scraping or rubbing motion is imparted 
to the pestle from time to time, the object being to dislodge the 
meal which adheres to the sides of the mortar. This rather 
difficult feat is accomplished without losing a stroke. 

Some of the older people relate how the women of neigh- 
bouring houses sometimes ran races to see who could perform the 
operations of grinding and making the meal into cakes most 

A Mohawk informant describes a taboo to the effect that a 
woman at the monthly period should be prohibited from pounding 

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COFR, aba from touching foods or medicine. Illness of various 
kinds is ascribed to neglect of this precaution.'- An Onondaga 
informant held that no harm would result so long as the woman 
is not allowed to touch the corn. 

If a woman at this period, according to David Key (On.)f 
prepares food for twins, the latter will no longer be able to fore- 
tell future events or perform the other remarkable things at- 
tributed to them. 

In former times,, when a girl arrived at puberty, wagdodia'ga' 
(On.), her parents, or relatives gathered up a quantity of the 
hardest corn they could find, selecting sweet corn, if they could 
get it, as being the hardest to grind into meaL More than enough 
foe a day's grinding was prepared and the unsuspecting maiden 
was required to perform the task in a single day. If she were 
successful, it was regarded as a sign that she would be an in- 
dustrious housewife. If a mortar or the corn were not available, 
she was set at cutting down a tree with a dull axe.'' Puberty 
customs of this kind are stiU practised by the more conser- 

The wooden mortar, with comparatively little variation 
of form, is widely distributed throughout the various regions 
of corn culture. The pestles, also, exhibit some similarity, 
though those employed by some tribes show no particular at- 
tempt at working into shape. 

A very crude or primitive method of grinding corn was by 
means of two medium-sized pebbles of a flat-round shape, the 
lower one pitted slightly in the centre to hoW the grains (Plate 
XIV, fig. c). 

A slightly vaiying form consists of a muller for holding in 
one hand and a shallow mortar or mealing slab, an outfit which 
could be readily carried (Plate XIV, fig. d). Mullers and 
mealing slaibs of this variety are occasionally found near olrf cabin 
sites on the present reservations. An earlier form of this device 
may be represented by the defwessions foUnd on the flattened 
surfaces of large rocks and boulders. A considerable number 
of the latter have been found in Iroquois territory. 

' Seth Newhouse (Mo.), Canienga, Brant County reserve. 
'John Jamieson, jun. 

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Cylindrical pestles of stone were evidently not in use among 
the Iroquois, though employed by their Algonkin neighbours 
to the east as late as the Revolutionary war.^ 

The use of flattened pebbles for cracking corn and nuts is 
still remembered by quite a number of the older people, and is 
mentioned frequently in the Relations and elsewhere as a con- 
venient or auxiliary method among the Hurons and Iroquois 
generally and many of the surrounding tribes. A couple of 
stones of this kind were obtained from an Indian family at 
Caughnawaga. Mrs. J. Williams of the same village remembers 
that about fifty years ago corn was often ground by taking two 
pebbles, as described, one usually somewhat larger than the 
other; the larger was placed in a large wooden bowl held in the 
lap and the grain either cracked, or ground into a meal (Plate 

David Jack, of the Grand River reserve, was of the opinion 
that the wooden mortar as now used is not an extremely old 
device with the Iroquois, though Lafitau figures a mortar of 
this kind at an early date. It was stated by Jack that the older 
people used sometimes to burn a hole in the trunk of a fallen 
tree, a device suggestive of that in use among the Ojibwa, 
Pottawatomie, Seminoles, and others, the pounder or pestle 
in the latter instance being simply a large hardwood stick.' 

Onondaga and Mohawk Terms. 

Wooden mortar, ga'niga^da' ga'ni-'ga' (Mo.). 

Stone mortar or mealing slab, on^'ya' (a stone). 

MuUer, deyen^hia'kta' on^'ha' (cracker for corn). 

She is cracking corn, deyen^'hiaks on^'ha'. 

She is pounding corn (in the mortar), ete''tha'. 

Pestle, ga'niga"da' hf'tg^ka', mill or mortar the top ones 

a'si'za* ey^da'kwa' (Mo.). 
Two women are pounding corn, genithe'ta' (Mo.). 

' One of these was found in the Rideau valley by Dr. T. W. Beeman; 
see Ontario Arch. Rep., 1904, p. 17. 

^ For bibliography, etc., see Handbook of American Indians, vol. I, pp. 
954, 955. 

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Several women are pounding corn, gondithe'ta' (Mo.). 
She is pounding corn, ytthe'ta' (Mo.). 


The pack or carrying basket (Plates XX, XXII, fig. e) had 
a variety of uses. It is still frequently employed during harvest 
for gathering corn, and sometimes for carrying the smaller 
children. It also formed a convenient receptacle for collecting 
firewood, or for the transportation of provisions. Those used 
for corn or wood are very strongly made. A burden strap or 
tump line, gasha'a' (Sen.), is attached for carrying. 

Indications are frequently found suggesting an improve- 
ment and an extension of basket-making with the introduction 
of European tools, and the pack basket has no doubt also under- 
gone some changes, though there is little variety of form to be 
found at present. A specimen differing somewhat from the 
ordinary type was collected at Oneidatown, Ontario. This 
was concaved on one side to fit the shoulders, and was said 
to be an old Oneida style (Plate XXI). 

The favourite Iroquois basketry material everywhere is 
black ash. The tree is cut into logs some 6 or 8 feet in 
length, the bark is removed and the outside pounded with the 
back of an axe or with a mallet, until the layers can be separated 
into strips. When black ash cannot be found, other woods, such 
as hickory, soft maple, and birch, are made use of in the same 
way. Another material which was sometimes pressed into 
service for the manufacture of pack baskets was the bark 
stripped from young hickories (Plate XIV, fig. b). 


The hulling or washing basket is always twilled, the sides 
being woven tightly and the bottoms made open and sieve-like. 

' The ordinary Seneca word for basket is ga'osh^'. 
Onondaga names given for corn carrying basket are: 
enahanf'gwi"ta' ga'a"saa' or 
egeh4'4da"kwa' ga'a'sSa'. 
' An Onondaga name is tnahuhai'i'ta' ga'a"saa', "washing corn basket." 
The operation of washing the corn in the basket is referred to as e'nahuhai'i'ni'. 

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There is some variation in size to correspond with family re- 
quirements; otherwise there is little difference, except with 
regard to the handle. One style of basket has none; another 
has an opening on each side for the hands immediately below 
the rim; a third haa only one such opening;* a fourth has small 
bent wooden handles inserted on opposite sides, while a fifth 
bas a wooden handle extending from side to side. Black ash 
splints are the ordinary material (Plate XXII, figs, a, e, d). 

A flexible washing basket is used on several of the reserva- 
tions. This is constructed of basswood inner bark or bast, 
in an open hexagonal weave like snowshoe netting (Plate XXII, 
fig. b). 

The ripe corn is usually hulled for cookery purposes. The 
first step in hulling is to add sifted hardwood ashes to a prat of 
water in the proportion of abou,t one double handful to three 
quarts of water. This is brought to a boil to dissolve the lye. 
The strength of the solution is tested by tasting. The corn, 
previously boiled a little to soften it, is then added and boilfed 
until it begins to look swollen. The principal test, however, 
is the slipping of the skin when a grain is pressed between the 
fingers. The corn and ashes are stirred from time to time 
while the boiling is in progress; the cobs are thrown into the 
fire as fuel. The contents of the pot are next emptied into the 
washing basket, allowed to drain a little, then soused and shaken 
about with a whirling motion in several tubs or kettles of water, 
or in a running stream, until the hulls have been rubbed off and 
floated away, a process which is assisted by friction against the 
twilled sides of the basket and by rubbing with the hands. 

The corn is now ready to pound, if required for bread- 
making, or for use whole in hulled corn soup, a very popular 
food. Another rapid boiling and washing are often given to 
remove all traces of lye. 

The following terms are applied to hulled corn : 
gage^ho'tcii (On.), the skins off. 
gan^huhai'i" (On.), corn washed with water. 

' Peter John (On.) thinks this the oldest style. 

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Sifters differ but little except in fineness. These are 
twilled and sometimes reinforced around the bottoms (Plate 
XXIII, figs, b, c). 

The finest are for the preparation of the meal for corn 
bread. The Seneca term for a basket of this sort is niyu^niyu'- 

The hominy sifter, u'n^'yusdowancs (Sen.)', is somewhat 
coarser, as indicated by the name. A common size is about a 
foot square at the top and tapering slightly towards the bottom. 
The larger particles are again pounded until all are of the re- 
quisite size. 

A special basket is said to have formerly been employed 
for sifting ashes. At present, however, the ordinary type of 
fine sifter is used, most frequently one which has become some- 
what old or worn. 

That sifters of other materials and patterns were sometimes 
used is indicated by historical references. One writer remarks 
of a mixed band of Senecas, Oneidas, Mohawks, and Wyandots, 
who resided in Ohio in the early part of the nineteenth century, 
that "sometimes they pounded the corn and sifted it through 
a skin with holes punched in it and made bread, and boiled the 
coarser for hominy."'' 

The suggestion of evolution in basketry is further confirmed 
by such references as the following from Lafitau, who remarks 
that the sieve was not basket-like then, but was a flat, rectang- 
ular article, "coarsely made, of small branches tied together." 
He further states that grain was winnowed in bark vessels or in 
pliable baskets made of rushes (jonc).' 

A very old and battered flour-sifter, collected at Caugh- 
nawaga, was made of slender splinters of hickory in a sort of 
wicker weave. The splints were interlaced and also bound at 
the top with hickory bark, the whole forming a deep and rather 

' An Onondaga name is unisdu'wane's ijwa'kta', or large particles sifter. 
The fine sifter is called ijwa'kta'. 

' Western Reserve Hist. Soc. Tracts, No. 64, p. 106. 
' Lafitau, Moeurs, vol. II, p. 86. 

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flat receptable. An old type of popcorn sifter is figured by Mor- 
gan,^ which is woven in a similar manner (Plate XXIII, fig. a). 


It seems probable that bark was formerly even more popu- 
lar than wood in the manufacture of household utensils. The 
material was found in abundance and could soon be worked into 
shape. Bark is still used occasionally for utensils, and many 
of the older people remember when it was quite extensively 

Large bowls for bread-making were frequently made of elm 
bark. The latter was removed from the tree in the spring or 
early summer when the sap is up. It was then bent into shape 
and the edges strengthened with strips of hickory or other 
material, which was bound into position with the inner bark of 
the elm or basswood. A couple of specimens in the Victoria 
Memorial Museum at Ottawa are nearly 2 feet in diameter and 
7 or 8 inches deep (Plate XXIV, fig. c). 

Such bowls were also employed for other purposes than the 
making of bread. A Caughnawaga informant states that they 
were frequently used for holding the stones for cracking corn on 
the lap (Plate XV). They also answered as dish pans, wash 
pans, for holding food, and as general culinary utensils. The 
usual form was round, though some are oval or of an oblong 
rectangular shape. 

Bark is mentioned repeatedly by all the early writers as the 
material in most common use for all sorts of everyday purposes. 
"Long bark vessels" were used by some of the northern Algonkins 
in the cooking of meat and other foods, ^ most likely by means of 
the stone boiling method. Birch bark was a very popular raw 
material among these northern tribes, though it was less plenti- 
ful in the Iroquois country. One of the Relations observes of 
the Hurons that they were "without tables, benches, or anything 
of the kind, the earth or some bark serving them for every pur- 

' Morgan, League of the Iroquois, vol. II, p. 31. 

* Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLI, pp. 183, 185. 

» Ibid., vol. XXXVIII, p. 247. 

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The manufacture of wood into dishes, spoons, etc., was 
evidently a laborious process, especially before the arrival of the 
whites. Hennepin remarks of this that "when the Savages 
are about to make Wooden Dishes, Porringers or Spoons, they 
form the Wood to their purpose with their Stone Hatchets, 
make it hollow with their Coles out of the Fire and scrape them 
afterward with Beaver's Teeth for to polish them."^ 

Sagard also notes that the Hurons manufactured bowls from 
knots of wood and smoothed them with beavers' incisors.^ The 
use of the latter as woodworking tools is confirmed archaeologi- 
cally,' also the employment of cutting implements of flint, bone, 
shell,* and other materials. Saws for small articles were fre- 
quently made from flint and a Grand River informant states 
that the rough posterior margin of the snapping-turtle's shell 
was used for the same purpose. 

Cutting edges required to be more or less adapted in shape 
to the surface to which they were applied, so that tools with 
curved or rounded edges were soon differentiated for the making 
of bowls and ladles. A later adaptation and evolution of this 
idea is found in the curved steel knife, ^ which is found over a 
very large cultural area, including the eastern woodlands, and 
which is used everywhere for smoothing out wooden bowls and 
spoons. A successor of the stone gouge is a small curved adze 
of steel,* a very popular tool with woodworkers on the various 
reservations for roughing out such articles as bowls and false- 
faces. The same implement was formerly used in the construc- 
tion of dug-outs. 

A favourite material for bowls everywhere was the knot 
which grows upon the soft maple (Plate XV). The bowls 

1 Hennepin, A New Discovery, p. 103. 

2 Sagard, Voyage, vol. II, p. 227. 

' Boyle, Dr. David, Ont. Arch. Rep., 1904, pp. 20-22. 

*Wintemberg, W. J., The Use of Shells by the Ontario Indians, Ont. 
Arch. Rep., 1907, pp. 42, 43. Beauchamp, N. Y. State Mas. Bulletin 41, pp. 
378, 379. 

5 A Mohawk name is deyuda'sara'tii, cf. Oneida, diuda'sara'gda. 

' An Oneida name by Gus Yellow, Grand River reserve, is unyonya"da. 
Onondaga, djukdQ'saa'da'. Another informant gave enakda«sa"nia'ta', 
"wooden vessels to smooth out inside." 

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used for playing the peach-stone game were made from the knots 
found on the maple, walnut, and other woods. Baaswood was 
perhaps still more commonly employed (Plate XXV). Sassai^ 
fras is mentioned by Kalm as having been used for bowla.,* 
Brickell, in describing the Indians of North Carolina, states 
that they made "dishes and wooden; platters" of the sweet 
gum, poplar, sycamore, and the like.* It is probable, that 
other woods were also used, according to locality and suitability 
for the purpose. Handles were frequently placed oppositely 
and were sometimes carved into various forms. 


Dishes for this purpose were made both of wood and bark, 
the latter, as before, showing evidences of having been the more 
common material and the wood, to some extent at least, the 
result of more modern appliances. For ordinary purposes 
basswood was often employed. 

The convenience and utility of bark dishes and troughs is 
seen in their retention down to comparatively recent times, many 
of the older people having eaten from them and still remembering 
their construction. Many references are found to the use of 
these. Squire Johnson, in describing the customs of New 
York State Senecas, states that, in former times, "the dishes 
and spoons were also made of bark."' Sagard, in relating his 
experiences while journeying to the Huron country, states that 
one of his companions busied himself "in seeking two flat stones 
with which to crush the Indian corn upon a skin stretched out 
upon the ground, and afterwards to empty it into a kettle and 
boil it; this being cooked nicely it is placed in bark bowls, and 
then eaten with the aid of large wooden spoons."^ That no 
time was lost in these culinary preparations is suggested by the 
remark that dirty stones were often used for cracking the corn. 

' Kalm, Travels,, vol. I, pp. 266, 267. 
' Brickell, Natural History af North Carolina, p. 401. 
' Caswell, H. S.„ Our Life Among the Iroquois, p.. 238. 
* Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 45. 

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A couple of neatly made elm bark sap troughs were collected 
at Tonawanda (Plate XXIV, fig. b). In the construction of 
these the baric is thinned at the ends and gathered into a fan- 
shaped tie. The fragrant though somewhat sticky bark of 
young pines is frequently made into bowls by folding and tying 
at the ends. Basswood is also used, and Kalm records the 
employment of buttonwood bark.' The variety of these ma- 
terials is suggestive in some slight degree of the ingenuity of 
the Iroquois in the adaptation to their needs of natural products. 

Onondaga Names for Dishes Used in Eating. 

Large bread bowl, ga'g'wa'. 

Eating bowl, ga'p'wa' gdekonia''ta'. 

Butter bowl, ewisonia''ta' ga'p'wa'. 

Bowl for peach-stone game, deyey^da'kwa' ga'dji?' 

(betting bowl). 
Bark bowl, uskp'daa' ga'p'wa'. 
Dish made of a turtle's carapace, ha'nu'wa' ga'dji§'. 


Spoons were, perhaps, most frequently made of wood and 
are often mentioned in connexion with bark receptacles and 
utensils.^ On the other hand, bark was also employed in spoon- 
making and spoons of this material were commonly used within 
the recollection of many now living on the reservations. Elm 
bark seems to have been most in favour and could be quickly 
manufactured into a serviceable article (Plate XXVI, fig. a), 
which was made in several styles. 

Home-made spoons are occasionally used even at present 
(Plates XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII). Large-sized dipping spoons, 
sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, were formerly employed in 
longhouse festivities, though these have been displaced to a 
very large extent by tin dippers. A hook on the end of the handle 

» Kalm, Travels, vol. I, p. 62. 

^ Loskiel, pt. I, p. 54, remarks that "they make their own spoons, and large 
round dishes of hardwood, with great neatness. In eating, many make use 
of the same spoon, but they commonly sup their victuals out of the dish." 

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of the dipping spoon prevents it from falling into the vessel 
from which soups or beverages are dispensed. 

Decoctions of hemlock bark and roots, also the bark of the 
alder, are used in colouring spoons and other wooden articles a 
deep red. These become further darkened and polished by 

Basswood is favoured for its not warping or checking. 
Maple, especially the curly grained, is preferred by some. Mate- 
rials noted at Onondaga Castle, New York, were apple tree 
root, soft maple knot, and white ash. Kalm records the use 
by eastern tribes of "spoon tree" {Kalmia latifolia); and J. D. 
Hunter, that of buckeye or horse-chestnut. 

The handles of spoons are frequently carved with designs 
which are ornamental, totemistic, or in response to dreams, 
particularly those occurring during some indisposition or ill- 
ness. The dreams are interpreted by a local seer or medical 
practitioner, who decides upon the design, also the kind of 
wood, the presentation of such dream-objects to the patient 
being necessitated to secure recovery. Failure in this respect 
is believed to be followed by continued illness and eventually 
by death. The custom seems to have been based upon the 
belief that the soul can depart from the body and that satis- 
faction of its desires must be obtained to bring about its return.* 

Eating spoons vary in size, some being of quite generous 
dimensions. The shapes, also, are of considerable interest, 
some suggesting prototypes of clam-shell, others apparently 
being based upon spoons of horn and similar material, and others 
still upon the gourd-shell ladle or dipper. 

Clam-shells are frequently found on Iroquois sites, sug- 
gesting a possible use as spoons, although, as remarked by 
W. J. Wintemberg, "We cannot be certain as to how many 
of the unios . . . were, if at all, used as spoons, . . owing 
to the fact that none of them has been altered in any way." 
Some of the older Iroquois, however, still carry clam-shells to 
eat with at festivals or ceremonies. 

John Jamieson, sen., stated that clam-shells are not good 
to use for spoons as they cause incontinence of urine (sympathetic 

1 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLIII, p. 267. 

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magic — the dribbling of water from the clam when it is taken 
from the water suggesting the foregoing idea). 

Some old-fashioned people, according to this informant, 
pick up all kinds of food in the fingers, using no fork nor spoon 
at all. 

A spoon-like utensil made from the scapula of a large mam- 
mal is figured on page 27 of the Ontario Archaeological Report for 
1902. This was found in Brant county, a district known to 
have been inhabited by Iroquois. Dr. Boyle, in commenting 
on this specimen, remarks that: "It is seldom that anything 
like a spoon is found in Ontario, but occasionally there appears a 
specimen which would seem to have been used as such. This 
scarcity may be owing to the absence of spoon-food among the 
aborigines, or to the nature of the substance of which spoons 
were made — ^wood or thin pieces of bone, when mussel (unio) 
shells were not so employed." Regarding foods, however, the 
reverse would seem to have been the case, as soups and broths 
were a favourite diet. Small and rather roughly-made clay 
cups, which may have been also used as ladles, are occasionally 

Small eating-paddles made of wood or hickory bark are 
sometimes employed even at present. The hickory bark paddles 
are called hesnanugaya''d5' (On.). This item was furnished by 
John Jamieson, jun. 

David Jack has seen cow ribs sharpened to a broad edge 
and used in the same way as the foregoing. 

Spoons and eating-sticks or forks used to be cleaned, put 
into a deer-skin bag, and hung up somewhere until wanted again. 

„ f ado'gwat (On.). 

^P°°"' \ ganiyu'da- (Ca.). 

Bark ladle or spoon, ado'gwat oskcj'da' (On.). 
Large dipping ladle (used in longhouse), adugwa^'tst'wane 


These seem to have varied somewhat, particularly in length, 
being made to conform to individual preference. Some were 

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manufactured with a hook at the handle for suspension when not 
in use. Models of these made by David Jack and John Jamieson, 
jun., were considerably over a foot in length. 

At large gatherings of any kind where food is served, the 
chiefs and leading men often go outside, if the weather is warm, 
to some shady spot, where big trays of meat, corn soup, and corn 
bread are ready. A large basketful of pointed sticks is brought 
around. Each person takes one of the latter and uses it for 
holding his or her portion of meat or dumpling (Figure 1). 


Stirring paddles and paddles for lifting the cakes of boiled 
corn bread from the kettle are still quite frequently seen in 
Iroquois houses (Plates XXIX, XXX). 

The stirring paddle is the narrower of the two and is used in 
the preparation of corn soup,, hominy, and other foods. The 
bread paddles are of two styles, one having a rectangular blade, 
the other a blade of circular shape. The latter are stated by an 
Onondaga informant to have been used for turning or revolving 
the cakes while cooking. Most bread paddles have a circular 
or heart-shaped hole in the middle of the blade to assist in drain- 
ing. Another use suggested for these holes is to tell when maple 
syrup has reached the point of "sugaring," by noting its in- 
clination to thread across the opening. 

The wood employed for paddles is usually some variety of 
maple, though other hardwoods are sometimes used. 

The carved designs with which the handles are decorated 
show some variety, though no indication could be secured of any 
particular significance. One of the more elaborately designed 
paddles has at the end a wooden chain carved from the solid, 
from which is suspended a hollow rectangular ornament con- 
taining some wooden balls. 



aseraw^'yt' (Oneida), 
g^sdo" gwa' (On.), 
aseraw^'lyt' (Mo.), 
gatgo'nia'tra' (Ca.). 

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This was a very necessary utensil in food preparation. 
Knives were of several kinds. One type, no doubt, answered 
for a hunting knife, for skinning and cutting up the animals 
killed, as well as for carving or dividing the meat after its pre- 
paration for food. The steel knife, of course, has superseded 
other kinds, but various materials other than steel were formerly 
used. One of the Relations remarks of the Iroquois that "They 
used a scallop or an oyster-shell for cutting off the right thumb" 
of a captive. "^ Clam-shells of various kinds are frequently 
found on Iroquoian village sites, a number showing wear and 
suggesting use for various purposes. Knives made from strips 
of elm and hickory bark are still sometimes used for skinning 
and fleshing and may also have been formerly employed as 
culinary utensils (Plate XXXI, figs, a, b). 

An important cutting material throughout a very wide area 
was flint or chert.^ Little is known regarding its use by the 
Iroquois for knives, but its suitability was hardly likely to have 
remained unnoted. Knife-like blades are frequently found 
on ancient village sites. The one illustrated was picked up on 
the old Iroquois reserve at Onondaga Castle, N. Y. One side 
of this has a rounder curve than the other and the article 
is evidently intended for attachment to a handle (Plate XXXI, 
fig. c). 



Corn {Zea mays), as a food material, was found throughout 
an immense area in North America, including such ethnological 
areas as Mexico and Central America, in the former of which 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXI, p. 45. 

2 Kalm states, probably with regard to the Iroquois and neighbouring 
tribes, that "they were satisfied with little sharp pieces of flint or quartz, 
or else some other hard kind of a stone, or with a sharp shell, or else with a 
piece of bone which they had sharpened." — Travels, vol. I, pp. 341, 342. 

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localities it is considered to have originated;^ the southwestern 
and southeastern areas; the eastern woodlands as far north, 
practically, as it could be successfully cultivated; also the 
southern and eastern" borders of the plains region, where it 
was cultivated by Siouan, Caddoan, and other tribes. Along 
the Pacific coast and over the plateau area evidence is lacking 
that it was cultivated iiorth of the Rio Colorado.' 

It was found in cultivation by the early explorers of the 
Mississippi valley and as far northward as the Mandan and 
Arikara on the upper Missouri, though not along the upper 
Mississippi nor in more northern latitudes. 

Its introduction at an early date into the regions named is 
indicated by its extensive distribution, its intimate association 
with mythology and ceremonial procedure, and by the numerous 
archaeological remains discovered. 


Most of the early writers who deal with ethnological topics 
describe the varieties of corn, though generally very loosely 
and inaccurately. 

Hariot, in "A briefe and true report, "states that there were 
"some white, some red, some yellow and some blew." This 
makes no account of more important distinctions. He further 
remarks that "There are three sortes, of which two are ripe in 
eleven and twelve weekes at the most: . . . The other sort 
is ripe in fourteene, and is about ten foote high."* 

That colour was an incomplete basis of classification was 
appreciated by Beverly, who distinguishes four sorts: two early 

1 De Candolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 387. 
Sturtevant, Kitchen Garden Esculents of American Origin, Amer. Nat., 
vol. XIX, p. 444. 

Darwin, Varieties of Plants and Animals under Domestication, vol. 
I, pp. 331, 332. 

' Wissler, Clark, The North American Indians of the Plains, Pop. Sc. 
Monthly, May 1913, p. 438. 

Gilmore, M. R., The Aboriginal Geography of the Nebraska Country, 
Reprint Proc. Miss. Valley Hist. Soc, vol. VI, pp. 6, 7. 
" Handbook of American Indians, pt. I, pp. 790, 791. 
* Hariot, A brief and true report, p. 24. 

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ripe and two late ripe. There was an early ripe ear of a "lesser 
size," not much larger than the handle of a case knife and with 
a stalk between three and four feet high. The late ripe corn was 
distinguished by the shape of grain only, without respect to 
colour, and, eis he further remarks, "that therefore which makes 
the Distinction, is the Plumpness or Shrivelling of the Grain; 
the one looks as smooth, and as full as the early ripe Corn, and 
this they call Flint-Corn; the other has a larger Grain, and 
looks shrivell'd with a Dent in the Back of the Grain, as if it 
had never come to perfection; and this they call She-Corn. 
This is esteemed by the Planters, as the best for Increase."' 

In "liiscoveries and settlements of the English in America" 
there are mentioned such varieties as "red, white, yellow, blue, 
green and black, and some speckled and striped."^ 

Morgan mentions only three varieties specifically. These 
are: the white, "o-na-o'-ga-ant;" red, "ti'c-ne;" and the white 
flint, "ha-go'-wa." The latter is incorrectly referred to as Seneca 
bread corn.' 

That selection was practised is shown by the number of 
varieties. Sagard remarks that the seed-corn used by the 
Hurons was "previously selected, and chosen with care."* The 
Indians also taught the New England colonists to "cull out the 
finest seeds," as well as to "observe fittest season."* Such a 
proceeding was doubtless quite general. It is said of the Pimas 
that "when gathering corn the women lay aside the best ears 
for seed."' Among the Iroquois, also, seed-corn is selected with 
a view to the propagation of such qualities as size, flavour, 
colour, and early maturity. 

Dent corn has been described as a western form. The 
"she-corn" described by Beverly is probably a dent; also the 
"poketawes" of the Powhatans. J. G. Curtis, in Cyclopedia 
of American Agriculture, remarks that there is a "predominance 
of flint corns northward and of dent or pointed corns southward." 

• Beverly, History and Present State of Virginia, vol. II, pp. 28, 29. 
' Pinkerton, Voyages, vol. 12, p. 242. 

• Morgan, League of the Iroquois, vol. II, p. 28. 

• Sagard, Voyage du Pays des Hurons, p. 93. 

' Wood, New England's Prospect, Boynton reprint, p. 74. 
« Russell, F., 26th Anntud Rep. B. A. E., p. 90. 

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The history of sweet corn is rather obscure. It was an old 
Indian variety, and is generally conceded to have been first 
introduced among the whites by Capt. Richard Begnall, an 
officer in Sullivan's campaign, who obtained it from the Sus- 
quehannas in 1779. It was then called "papoon corn."^ Sturte- 
vant in 1899 lists sixty-one sweet corn varieties, classifiable into 
three types. ^ The characteristic crinkled appearance of this 
corn is owing to its inability to develop its starch to maturity, 
so that, in passing from the "milky" stage to maturity, there is 
evaporation and wrinkling.' 

Popcorn, also a native variety, is still used quite extensively- 
Botanically, it may be considered a special group of flint corn 
and differs from these and the dent corns but little in composition. 
Twenty-five varieties are recognized, which are variations of the 
rice or toothed and the smooth or pearl corn. These are further 
divisible into early, medium, and late. All the varieties cross 
readily, showing the same colour variations as the other types. 

Podded corn, which is classed as a variety, was known from 
a very early date, and is a form in which each kernel is enclosed 
in husks or scales, usually four, in addition to the husks or foliace- 

'Van der Donck, Nm Netherlands (1656). N. Y. Hist. Soc. Trans., 

vol. I, p. 137. 

^ Seven varieties of corn (Zea mays) are recognized by agriculturists viz. : 

Zea mays tunicata, pod corn — probably derived from Argentina. 

Zea mays eiierta, popcorn — possessing an excessive portion of corneous en- 

Zea mays indurata, flint corn — having a starchy endosperm enclosed in a 
corneous endosperm varying in thickness in different varieties. 

Zea mays indentata, dent corn — having corneous endosperm at the sides of the 
kernel only, the starchy endosperm, which extends to the top of the grain, 
drying and thus forming the indentation. 

Zea mays amylacea, soft or starchy corn — characterized by the absence of 
corneous material. 

Zea muys saccharata, sweet corn^ — ^^characterized by a translucent horny appear- 
ance and crinkling in drying. Has little or no starch. 

Zea mays amylea-saccharata, starchy-sweet corn — having externally the appear- 
ance of a sweet corn, but with the lower half of the kernel starchy and 

J. W. Harshberger, Cyd. of Amer. Agric, vol. II, p. 402. 

' East, E. M., A Note Concerning Inheritance in Sweet Corn. Science, 

N.S., vol. XXIX. 

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ous bracts enclosing the ear. This has been thought by some to 
represent a very primitive form of maize, the naked-seeded form 
being a later development. The form was first described botani- 
cally by C. Bauhin in 1623, and is only morphologically, not 
specifically, different from the other maizes, since in all varieties 
the kernels possess rudimentary scales, which can be seen when 
the grains are removed from the ear. Podded corn, like the 
other varieties mentioned, can be hybridized, with a production 
of the usual colour variations. 

All the corn varieties (Plate XXXII) are considered to be 
sub-divisions of the single species, Zea mays. Size, colour, the 
presence or absence of starch, the production of podded grains, 
and a number of other characters, all observe the laws of heredity 
as defined by Mendel, and may be hybridized in varying pro- 
portions or fixed to a greater or less degree by selection.^ Varia- 
tions from' type are consequently of frequent occurrence.^ 

Onondaga Names for Corn Varieties — By Chief Gibson. 

Zea mays amylacea (starchy or "bread" corns): 

White corn (Tuscarora), unahagg,'ada' "light-coloured 

corn" (Plate XXXII, figs, a 6, a 7). 
Purple, unahag%:'ada' uw§'hia', "bread corn, purple" 

(Plate XXXII, fig. a 2). 
Variegated (Calico), unahag^'ada' deyudji'du''yf, 

"bread corn, several different colours" (Plate 

XXXII, figs, a 3, a 4). 
Red, unahag^'ada' utgw5"daa', "bread corn, red" 

(Plate XXXII, fig. a 1). 
Short white, ears covered at the ends with grains, 

unahag^'ada' deyu'niogwt'kdi", "bread corn, 

covered at end" (Plate XXXII, fig. a 6). 
Light yellow (possibly a hybrid) unahag^'ada* udji'- 


1 East and Hayes, Inheritance in Maize, Bulletin 167, Agric. Exper. Stat., 
New Haven, Conn. See also bibliography, p. 138. 

' Sturtevant, E. L., An Observation on the Hybridization and Cross-Breeding 
of Plants, Amer. Nat., vol. XIX, p. 1040. 

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Zea mays indurata (flint or "hominy" corns): 

Flint, long ears, unaha'y'wt' deyunahasda"ttk deyu'- 

niQgwi'kdi" uw^we'idji's, "corn, smooth, covered 

at ends, long ears" (Plate XXXII, fig. b 1). 
Flint, short ears, unah'q'wi' deyunahasda"'ttk deyu'- 

niQgwc'kdi", "corn, smooth, covered at ends" 

(Plate XXXII, fig. b 2). 
Purple, short ears, unaha'ij'wf engdai^enia'ta', "corn, 

, Yellow, long ears, unaha'ii'wt' udjitgwai'igp', "yellow 

Flint, variegated, covered at ends, unaha'y'wf deyudji'- 

du^yt' enQdai^enia"ta', "corn, several colours, for 

hominy" (Plate XXXII, fig. 4 b). 

Zea mays saccharata (sweet corn) : 

Sweetcorn, unaha'ywi' undenaha'gei', "corn, shrunken." 
A short-eared "nubbin" variety was obtained at Onei- 
datown. This was white and covered at the ends 
(Plate XXXII, figs, b 6, b 7). 
Zea mays everia (popcorn) : 

Popcorn (general name), aw^sQ^gwa' on^'ha', "for 

popping corn." 
White rice popcorn, unu'djia' aw^sp^gwa', "tooth pop- 
corn." (Plate XXXII, fig. b 5). 
Red rice, unu'djia' aw^scygwa' utgw5''da"'dji", "tooth 

popcorn, dark red." 
Red pearl (smooth), aw^sQ^gwa' utgw^^da-'dji". 
A general name given by an Onondaga Castle informant 
was: aw^'SQ^gwa" yd^^sij'kwa', "corn for popping." 
An Oneida general name is: yoniso'gQ'ta'. 
Zea mays amylea-saccharata (starchy-sweet) : 

A short-eared corn apparently belonging to this variety 
was obtained at Oneidatown. 

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Seneca Names for Corn Varieties — By Alex. Snider, Tonawanda, 


Starchy or "bread" corn: 

White, one'Qgaand. 

White, grains growing over the end, he'go'wa' one'Q*. 

Yellow, djitgwa''4 one'p'. 

Twelve-rowed, yellow, one'p' dikni'skaii' nia'dt'. 

Purple, one'gdji'. 
Popcorn, wa'dadpgwas one'g'. 

Black, dj4sta''4 wa'dakggwos one'g'. 

Caughnawaga {Mohawk) Names for Corn Varieties — By Mr. 


Starchy or "bread" corn: 

White bread corn, on^hag^'ra". 
Flint or "soup" corn; 

Soup corn, yellow, on^steu'gwe". 

Purple "soup," oa'nar'. 
Sweet corn, deggderu'gwiks. 
Popcorn, white rice, wadengtstada'gwas. 

Cayuga Names for Corn Varieties — By William Harris. 

Bread corn, red, utgwa'djia ona'h4. 
Bread corn, variegated, na'hadji'. 
Bread corn, yellow, djitgwa ona'h4. 

Other Terms Used in Cam Culture {On.) 

Ear of corn, unQgw§''ya' un^hu-'da'. 

Cornstalk, uheie'. 

Leaves of the corn, udji^wa^sa'. 

Silk, uge'eda'. 

Tassel, ugw^'da'haa'. 

Cornfield, un?'ha' gaie'ntwi'. 

In the field, gah^dagg'wa'. 

Hill of corn, gana'g^'sh^'. 

Corn-cob, unQ'gw§"ya'. 

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The wild oat or rice {Zizania aquatica) appears to have 
been occasionally used by the Iroquois, although it was employed 
extensively by surrounding tribes. ' 

The sunflower (On., uwe'wfsa') was frequently cultivated, 
either together with corn and beans, or in patches by itself, and^ 
furnished an oil' which was highly esteemed. The Hurons and 
Iroquois generally are said to have sown but little of it, though 
they made from it an oil "to annoint themselves."* The In- 
dians of Virginia made of it "both a kinde of bread and broth."'. 

The oil was said, by a Mohawk informant, to have been 
made by roasting the seeds slightly, then pounding them in a 
mortar, after which the material was boiled and the oil skimmed 

The oil, at present, is used principally for ceremonial pur- 
poses, such as the anointing of the masks used by the False- 
face society. It was also stated by Chief Gibson to be good for 
the hair and to prevent it from falling out or changing colour. 

Other seeds were no doubt used by the Iroquois at times. 
An indefinite reference in the Relations, for instance, states that 
the Iroquois gave to Lalement "certain seeds to eat — ^but so 
insipid and so dangerous that they served as a very quick poison 
to those who knew not how to prepare them."' 

' Carr, Foods of Certain American Indians, Amer. Antiq. 
Soc. Proc, N.S., vol. X, p. 179. 
Parker, Bulletin 144, N. Y. Educ. Dept., p. 109. 
Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages, Ameriquains,' tome II, pp. 95^ 96. 
' Charlevoix, A Voyage to North America, vol. II, p. 91. 
'Oil: u'na' (On.). 
Sunflower oil: awaij'sa'u'na (Ca.). 

* Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriquains, tome II, p. 95. 
' Hariot, A brief e and true report, p. 26. 

For use by Iroquois as a food, see corn recipes, also beverages. 

* Simon Bumberry, Brant County reserve. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXI, p. 91. 

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The many ways employed by the Iroquois for preparing 
animal and vegetable foods have been frequently commented 
upon. There^were also ways of combining these products which 
gave an almost unlimited variety. 

Forty methods of cooking corn are frequently mentioned.* 
Dumont speaks of forty-two ways as known among the Indians 
of Louisiana.' Le Jeune refers to twenty ways observed among 
the Hurons.* There are indications, also, which suggest that 
recipes were derived by borrowing from surrounding nations, 
as were other cultural ideas. 

A very large proportion of Iroquois foods were evidently of 
a liquid nature. This is substantiated by the numerous refer- 
ences to soups and broths prepared from ripe and unripe corn, 
beans, squashes, meats, and other materials. 

These were easily prepared, were usually nourishing, and 
also answered the purposes of a beverage, but may have been 
responsible for cases of decayed teeth found.' Preparations of 
this kind are still very popular, although more variety has 
since been introduced. 

• Information and demonstrations regarding the preparation of corn 
were obtained from a number of people, including Chief and Mrs. Gibson, 
Mr. and Mrs. Peter John, and Mrs. Simon Bumberry, Brant County reserve; 
Mrs. David Williams and Mrs. Tommy Day, Oneidatown. Individual items 
were also secured from a large number of others. 

' Boyle, Dr. David, Ontario Arch. Rep., 1898, p. 189. 

' Dumont, Mimoires sur La Louisiane, Paris, 1753, vol. I, pp. 33-34. 

* Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. X, p. 103; twelve ways, Los- 
kiel, Hist, of Mission, etc., p. 67; eight ways, Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, 
pp. 162-164. 

' The causes of decay in teeth are not definitely known. The lack of foods 
requiring vigprous chewing, which keeps the teeth clean naturally, is probably 
a factor. It has also been suggested that starchy foods, of which the Iroquois , 
used a large amount, ferment and attack the enamel, thus forming a 
nidus for the germs causing decay. A marked difference between Iroquois 
teeth and those of tribes using fewer starchy foods and more meat has been 
found by Mr. F. H. S. Knowles, physical anthopologist for the Geological 
Survey, the amount of decay being much less among the tribes last mentioned. 

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Boiled Corn Bread — gahd'^gu'^gwa' {On.). 

After the corn has been hulled and washed (Plates XVII 
and XVI), it is placed in the mortar and pounded to a meal or 
flour. As the pounding progresses the fine sifting basket is 
frequently brought into requisition (Plate XIX). The hand 
is used to dip the meal out of the mortar into the sifter. The 
large bread pan is often set on top of the mortar and the sifter 
shaken in both hands. The coarser particles are thrown into a 
second bowl or tray and are finally dumped back into the mortar 
to be repounded. 

A hollow is next made in the flour and enough boiling water 
poured into it to make a stiff paste. Usage differs somewhat 
in this respect, cold water being used by some for mixing. The 
stirring paddle is often employed at first, after which the paste 
is kneaded with the hands. Dried huckleberries, blackberries, 
elderberries, strawberries, or beans may be incorporated in the 
mixture, beans apparently enjoying the greatest favour. The 
latter are previously cooked just so that they will remain whole 
or nearly so. Currants or raisins are sometimes used at present 
Formerly the kernels of walnuts and butternuts were employed 
in the same way. 

A lump of paste is next broken off, or about a double hand- 
ful. This is tossed in the hands, which are kept moistened with 
cold water, until it becomes rounded in form ; the surplus material 
forms a core at one side, usually the right, and is finally broken 
off. The lump is now slapped back and forth between the palms, 
though resting rather more on the left hand ; and is at the same 
time given a rotary motion until a disk is formed about 1| to 1| 
inches thick and about 7 inches in diameter. ^ Boiling water 
for mixing is stated to make the cakes firmer and better to 
handle. No salt nor other such ingredients are used. 

The loaves are immediately slid into a pot of boiling water 
from the paddle or from between the hands and are supported 

1 Informants, Mrs. Peter John and others. 
Bartram, Observations, pp. 60, 61, in describing a t'epast eaten at a con- 
ference held at Onondaga Castle, N.Y., in 1743, states that the cakes of boiled 
bread were 6 or 7 inches in diameter and about 2 thick. 

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on edge by placing the paddle against them until all are in. 
The bread paddle, or sometimes a special circular turning paddle, 
is used to rotate the cakes a little when partly done, so as to 
cook all parts alike. 

An hour is usually required for cooking, though the comple- 
tion of the operation is indicated when the cakes show a tendency 
to float, or when the steam is given out equally all over when a 
cake is lifted out. The bread paddle is also employed in remov- 
ing the bread from the pot. When a batch is too large for the 
pot, some of the cakes are boiled for five or six minutes, then 
removed and baked in a pan in the oven. 

Boiled corn bread, while not light in the ordinary sense, is 
decidedly tasty when newly made. It may be sliced and eaten 
either hot or cold with butter, gravy, or maple syrup. An 
Oneidatown informant states that it is often sliced and fried in 
butter as we fry cornmeal or oatmeal mush. 

Lafitau remarks of corn bread that "nothing is heavier or 
more insipid; it is a mass of flour kneaded without regard to 
cleanliness, without either leaven or salt. They cover it with 
corn leaves and cook it in the ashes or in the kettle. They 
often also, add oil, grease, beans and fruits. It is then still 
more disagreeable." He admits, however, that it is best when 
freshly cooked.^ 

The boiling of the corn in ashes, in bread-making, was some- 
times omitted. A kettleful of water was brought to the boiling 
point, according to a Cayuga informant." The ripe corn was 
added and boiled until softened a little. It was then drained in 
the washing basket, allowed to dry slightly, then pounded, sifted, 
and made into flour. This kind of flour is called gan^hana*- 
w?''di' (On.). A similar omission is found in the Huron process 
of bread-making as recorded by Sagard.' 

Loaves of corn bread* were frequently carried along while 
travelling, though parched corn flour sweetened with maple sugar 

' Lafitau, Moeurs, vol. II, p. 94. 

'Mrs. Peter John. 

' Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 94. 

<Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, p. 118, states that corn, corn bread 
squashes, and fish were in common use among the Hurons and that meat of 
other kinds was scarce. 

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was a more popular material. The use of corn bread for this 
purpose is indicated in the word "johnny-cake" from "journey- 
cake." The ash-cake, hoe-cake, and pone are other European 

Boiled bread, according to Chief Gibson, was frequently 
used as wedding bread. A girl cooked twenty cakes of corn 
bread with berries in them. These were taken to the house of 
the young man, where they were cut up and given to friends and 
relatives who were assembled. 

Bread was sometimes made of other materials, such as beans 
and acorns, the latter being boiled in lye to remove the bitter 
taste; also of roots, such as those of the yellow pond lily and 
others. Loskiel remarks that the Iroquois made use of many 
wild herbs and roots, including parsnips, of which they made a 
kind of bread.^ 

It is likely that other roots, s^eds, and fruits were formerly 
used in bread-making. A suggestion of the former use of haws 
in this connexion is found in the name djtgahe"dis (On.)^ which 
is applied to such species as Crataegus pruinosa and Crataegus 

The corn preferred for bread is almost invariably of the 
starchy or "bread corn" variety, which includes the white or 
Tuscarora, also the red, purple, and calico or variegated varieties. 
The flint or hominy corns are said to be sometimes employed, 
but are considered to be less suitable. An Onondaga informant 
furnishes the information that a long-eared flint corn called 
unaha'ij'wt" uw^we'idji's, makes a good, sweet bread. The corn 
is pounded, sifted, and winnowed without being boiled in cishes.' 

Baked Corn Bread — ogqhagg'wa' •wata'^ggda''g^a' (On.). 

The name signifies "under the ashes cooked," and is applied 
to bread baked in the embers, or on flat stones placed over the 

* Loskiel, History of Missions, pt. I, p. 68. 

' The name is said to signify "use for bread." 

' Peter John. 

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fire. This seems to have been formerly in much favour,* Its 
disuse is probably owing to the abandonment of the open fire- 
place and to the general adoption of European foods. 

The mixture used was practically the same as for boiled 
bread. About three-quarters of an hour was required for cook- 
ing. As the loaves baked somewhat more quickly on top, they 
were turned over to be evenly done. To tell when they were 
finished, the cakes were tapped with the finger. If not sufficiently 
cooked, they felt heavy to the touch, and when done, felt 
lighter and more spongy. The last part of the operation was to 
wash them in cold water to free them from ashes or cinders.* 

The Senecas are said to have omitted the beans or berries. 
On the other hand, several informants at Grand River, Ontario, 
state specifically that beans, berries, and sometimes maple sugar 
were included in the baked corn bread mixture. Adair remarks 
the use of a similar food among the Choctaw and Chickasaw.* 

Mrs. John Williams (Mo.) of Caughnawaga states that red 
beans used to be mixed with the paste for baked corn bread, and 
the whole covered with cabbage leaves or corn husks. Boiled 
bread' is the only kind made there now. 

Peter John, Grand River, Ontario, relates that some fifty 
or sixty years ago a fire was frequently made in the open field, 
while they were harvesting or husking corn, and bread baked in 
the ashes in the old-fashioned manner. 

A single cake of this bread was said by John Echo (On.) 
to have formerly been placed in the coffin with a corpse.* 

' Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, pp. 162-164, furnishes one of the earliest 
descriptions of the process. 

" Mr. and Mrs. Peter John. 

' Adair, History of the American Indians, p. 407. 

* Besides the food which is set aside for the dead at wakes and which 
they are supposed to require for their own consumption, a little is sometimes 
put into the hand. This is to be thrown to a savage cat and dog which guard 
a bridge over which the dead have to pass. While the animals are devouring 
the food the dead person slips over in safety. Informant, Peter Atkins 
(Mo.) and others. Grand River, Ontario. 

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Other Terms Used. 

Corn bread, gana'daluk (Oneida). 

Washed corn bread, ganasto'hal' gana'daluk (Oneida). 

Hulled corn bread, gage^ho'tcq oha"gwa' (On.). 

Boiled bread, yena'deros ganadarokywe' (Mo.). 

Baked corn bread, o'ggro'gy ygdena'dary'ta' (Mo.). 

Corn flour or meal, ote'tsha' (On.). 

Indian meal (modern yellow meal), djitgwai'agg ote'tsha' 

Nut meats (general term), u'nie'e' (On.). 
(The first term given is general. The three following are 

Soup from Corn Bread Liquor — uha'gwa'gei' (On.). 

Soup is often made from the liquor left after boiling corn 
bread. The coarser particles left after grinding and sifting the 
bread meal may be added. ^ The mixture may be sweetened 
with maple sugar, or it may be seasoned with salt cind butter. 
The name une'sda' (On.), or une'sda' onp'daa', is applied to the 
preparation, a term which is sometimes translated as "Indian 
rice." Still another variant is made by adding sweet milk or 
buttermilk and sweetening with maple or granulated sugar. 
It is then called uha'gwa'gei' unQ'daa' (On.). The liquor is 
also drunk as a beverage along with the corn bread.^ 

Another use to which the liquor is put is in the preparation 
of food for infants. The latter are said to have been sometimes 
put to death by the Onondagas, when the mother died, by way 
of making sure that they should not suffer from neglect. The 
breast was the usual method of feeding until the child became 
large enough to eat the ordinary fare, which the mother chewed 
first. When the mother died, the father sometimes took corn 
meal gruel in his mouth and let the baby suck it out.' 

' A Mohawk name is waden4ag5'st(j, or "what is left.' 
' Adair, History, p. 416. 
'Sagard, Voyages, vol. I, p. 118. 

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Early Bread — ti'tganahate"di' (On.) . 

This bread was made in the early autumn from the newly- 
ripened and undried corn and is considered to be valuable for 

The linhuUed corn is placed in the mortar, a little water is 
added and the contents beaten to a paste. It is then moulded 
into loaves, which may be either boiled or baked in a pan in the 

Dumplings — udnhg'sta' (On.). 

The name was translated as "rolled cake soup." In making 
this the corn meal is mixed with boiling water to a stiff paste, 
which is moulded between the hands, dipped into cold water, and 
made into cakes the size of ordinary dumplings. These are 
dropped into boiling water or boiled along with venison, the flesh 
of game birds, or other meats. Half an hour's cooking is required. 

A fork consisting of a sharpened stick or bone was formerly 
used to hold the dumplings while they were being eaten (Figure 
1). Such eating utensils have been used within the memory 
of many of the older people. 

Figure 1. Eating-stick or fork for holding dumplings or meat. Actual 
length, about 8| inches. Division of Anthropology, Museum No. Ill 
I, 918. Collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand River reservation. 

Wedding Bread — e'gyuda'kwa' uhd^gwa' (On.). 

Another wedding bread is made as follows: a quantity of 
ripe white or bread corn is taken, the finest ears being selected, 
shelled, pounded, and sifted, without the hulling process. 
Huckleberries are mixed with the meal, which is made into bread 
and boiled in the usual way. 

Five or six cakes are sufficient, according to Chief Gibson, 
for a small family, though Parker mentions twenty-four.^ 

1 Parker, A. C, New York State Museum Bulletin 144, p. 72. 
'Parker, A. C, New York State Museum Bulletin 144, p. 72. 

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These are made by the girl's mother. The parents of the young 
man (plus the maternal grandmother) and those of the girl 
having signified their approval, the mother, or the maternal 
grandmother of the young woman, places the cakes in a carrying 
basket and, accompanied by the young woman, carries them to 
the door of the young man's maternal grandmother. Here, 
all being agreeable, the cakes are accepted, the young man's 
maternal grandmother notifying his mother of the proposal 
received. The wedding cakes are in some instances left un- 
touched upon the doorstep, whence they are eventually removed 
with much humiliation. 

The parents of the young man, if the suit is acceptable, 
next notify friends and relatives of the family to assemble, when 
the bread is distributed equally, and eaten. This food present 
is referred to as a "ratification" or an evidence that the family 
of the girl is agreeable to the proposal. The father or male 
relatives of the young man furnish meat for the festivities. 
Venison or bear meat was formerly preferred, though veal, lamb, 
or beef, etc., are now in use. The yOung man's mother fills the 
empty basket which contained the wedding cakes and returns 
it to the girl's relatives, saying, "This is our ratification." The 
latter in their turn have a family meeting, at which the present 
of meat and other articles is consumed. 

A meeting of the two families is afterward called, at which 
the chiefs or other leading men make speeches, give good advice 
to the newly married couple, and express their pleasure at seeing 
these families united. Old customs, however, in this respect, 
have been so largely discontinued that the complete marriage 
ceremony is seldom carried out at present. 

A variant of wedding bread was made like ordinary boiled 
bread; but, instead of being made into rounded cakes or loaves, 
it was divided into smaller portions, which were formed into 
double packages by tying them in corn-husks. Peter John and 
wife stated that corn leaves were frequently used for this (Plate 
XXXIII, fig. c). 

A variation of this recipe was given by Chief Gibson, who 
stated that a quantity of hulled corn meal is prepared. Pumpkin 
is sliced, boiled to a thin mush, and mixed with the meal and 

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berries. The double packages are made in the following manner: 
some dried corn husks are taken and a number tied together at 
one end with basswood bark; some of the paste is filled into the 
husks, which are finally tied at the other end and again in the 
middle, forming a package somewhat like a small dumbbell. 
These are boiled for an hour and are usually eaten with butter. 

The use of this form of corn bread at quite an ancient date 
among the Iroquois is indicated by Sagard, who describes it as 
"the bread made like two b^Hs joined together." The Huron 
name was "coinkia."' 

There seems to have been formerly a definite connexion 
between the double wedding bread package and the idea of mar- 
riage. Peter John described it as indicating that there was 
"enough bread for two together." There may have been an idea 
that the double package would act as a charm to hold the two 
together. Another item regarding the significance of wedding 
bread packages was furnished by a Seneca residing at Tonawanda, 
N.Y., who stated that formerly, when a marriage occurred at a 
suitable season, the present made by the young man's relatives 
to those of the young woman sometimes consisted of green corn, 
done up in a single corn-leaf package of rounded form (Plate 
XXXIII, fig. a). This bread was called in Seneca, degang- 
hj'stia'gQ a''gwa' (panis uno testiculo similis). 

Corn and Pumpkin Bread — dega'nigsayi'sdi' uha"gwa' {On.). 

Com and pumpkin were frequently combined in the prepara- 
tion of foods. For bread-making, the corn is hulled and pounded 
into meal. A quantity of the pumpkin is sliced and boiled to a 
thin mush. It is then mixed with the cornmeal, to which black- 
berries or huckleberries have also been added. Basswood leaves 
are placed on the bottom and sides of a pan, into which the paste 
is then emptied, covered with more basswood leaves, and placed 
in the oven to bake. The name signifies "pumpkin mixed." 

^ Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 94. 

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Corn and Pumpkin Pudding — udji'sgwa' or dega'nvgsayi'sdi'- 
udji'sgwa'. (On.). 

The pumpkin is boiled, as before, to a thin mush. A quan- 
tity of ripe corn is parched, pounded in the mortar, and sifted 
to a fine meal. The latter is then stirred into the pumpkin 
with a paddle, until it is of the proper thickness. Maple sugar 
is added to sweeten, also a little lard. The mass thickens up like 
a pudding, after which it is ready for eating. 

Parched Corn Travelling Food — uninhg"da' (On.). 

There was apparently no more popular travelling or hunting 
food than this preparation in olden times. It was light, nourish- 
ing, and could be eaten either cooked or raw. It is rarely used 
at present, except on certain ceremonial occasions, such as False- 
Face Society functions. 

In making it, the white Tuscarora and other kinds of bread 
corn are employed. The ripe corn is shelled, parched slightly 
in the embers, as for popping, thrown into the mortar, some maple 
sugar added, and the whole pounded and sifted together to a 
rather fine meal. When intended for pudding or soups, rather 
than for eating raw, the maple sugar may be left out. Dried 
fruit, such as cherries, is said to have been pulverized with it at 

Sugar is not used when the food is intended for hunters or 
for athletes, as it would make them dizzy (the sugar being de- 
rived from the maple, the branches of which sway about in the 
wind). The uninhQ"da' is also at times mixed up with chopped 

It was prepared for use in several ways. It might be eaten 
raw in small quantities, though more than a small handful was 
considered dangerous without cooking, on account of its tendency 
to swell. On hunting expeditions or in time of war a small wooden 
cup or bowl was carried along. A little water was taken in 
this and a small amount of the meal added. ^ When game was 
found or when the enemy was vanquished, it was added to the 

1 See Beverages; informant, Thomas Key, Brant County reserve. 

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venison or other provisions secured. Bartram notes of this 
food that "about one-quarter of a pound, diluted in a pint of 
water, is a hearty travelHng dinner."^ 

Historical references to the food are numerous, showing 
conclusively its common use throughout the Iroquois and Algon- 
kin region.* Champlain states that very dry Indian corn was 
used in its manufacture. It was roasted in ashes, brayed to a 
meal and, in preparing it for food, they cooked a large quantity 
of fish and meat, cut it into pieces, skimmed off the fat, and added 
the meal of roasted corn, cooking the whole to a thick soup. 
This was among the Huron and eastern Algonkins.' Beverly 
also furnishes some information : The Indians of Virginia fre- 
quently took with them on their journeys "a Pint or Quart of 
Rockahomonie, that is, the finest Indian corn, parched and beaten 
to a powder. When they find their stomachs empty (and cannot 
stay the tedious Cookery of other things) they put about a spoon- 
ful of this into their Mouths, and drink a Draught of Water upon 
it, which stays in their stomachs."* 

A Tonawanda informant described its use by Seneca ath- 
letes in running. A decoction should also be prepared of the 
toad rush, Juncus bufonius, the fact of its growing beside the 
runner's pathway being considered significant. A handful of 
the plant is steeped in nearly a pailful of water. The idea is to 
provoke vomiting. The person using it must drink about two 
quarts the first time, vomit, drink the same quantity, and vomit 
again. The face and body are also washed with the liquid. 
This is done about three times during the week before the race. 
Only sweet milk and Indian corn bread, ^gwe^^wc a^gwa' (Sen.), 
are to be eaten. A quantity of the scorched cornmeal is carried 
along to eat while running, a little being taken now and again. 
The Seneca name for the meal is wad§'*sondak one'Q, or "burnt 

' Bartram, Observations, p. 71. 

•Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 142; also p. 95. 

Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXIII, p. 187. 

Van der Donck, N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., series 2, vol. I, pp. 193, 194. 
' Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, pp. 162-164. 
* Beverly, Hist, of Virginia, p. ISS. 

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corn." Mrs. John Williams of Caughnawaga gave wangihgo's^t 
o'ngsde' as a Mohawk equivalent. 

Hulled Corn Soup — un^ha'se" unahwgwa' (On.). 

The name for this may be translated as "corn not quite 
ripe yet soup." This is a favourite dish with the Iroquois both 
at the longhouse and at social gatherings. The corn is taken 
when it has become quite firm, but not yet perfectly ripe; it 
is then boiled with ashes, hulled and washed, boiled for half an 
hour and washed again, much the same as for corn bread. 

Next, according to one popular recipe, it is placed along 
with meat, game, or with green beans in the pod, boiled slowly 
for about two hours, then seasoned to taste. Mrs. John Williams 
of Caughnawaga mentioned the use of hulled corn boiled with 
beans and meat. A Mohawk name for this is ongt'sdo. 

By another method, the hulled corn, after being duly pre- 
pared, is thrown into the mortar along with a little water and 
crushed slightly. It is then placed in a pot or kettle, some water 
added, also berries and a little sugar, after which it is boiled 
until done. With the berries added it is called un^ha'se" wahi- 
yu^wi' (On.), and in any case makes a very palatable dish. It is 
frequently used at festivals, such as the Big Green Corn Dance. 

Corn Soup with Nut Meats — u'nie-'e' wne^ga-'gec' {On.). 

Nut meats of various kinds may be added to corn soup 
Beechnuts were given by a Tonawanda informant' as a popular; 
ingredient there, also dried apples. 

The kernels are pounded in the mortar, sifted, and added 
to the soup, which is stirred from time to time cuid seasoned 
with salt and pepper. 

Corn Soup with Sunflower Seeds — ue'w^"sa' u'ne^ga-'gei' (On.). 

Sunflower seeds are pounded and sifted to a fine meal. 
Soup of ripe corn and beans is prepared in the usual way. The 
sunflower meal is added, forming a very rich soup. This is 
also seasoned according to taste. 

1 Barber Black. 

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Hominy — ung'daa' (jDn.). 

Probably no corn or other food is referred to so frequently 
as hominy, or sagamit6, as it was more familiarly known to the 
early French. It was extremely simple of preparation, very often 
being little more than cornmeal and water. A reference in 
the Relations to Huron customs remarks that "the best food 
usually eaten there is only a paste made with meal of Indian 
corn boiled in water. "' 

The Relation of 1640 states: "Our entire nourishment con- 
sists of a sort of soup made of Indian corn, crushed between two 
stones, or pounded in a mortar, and seasoned with smoked 
fish, — this served in a large wooden dish."" A reference to an 
smcient Seneca form of sagamit6 speaks of "Indian corn and beans 
cooked in clear water, without seasoning."' The Relation of 
1638-39 notes that "Sometimes the savages put in pieces of 
cinders to season the sagamit^, at other times a handful of little 
water-flies, which are like the gnats of Provence. . . The 
more prudent keep some fish after the fishing season, to break 
into the sagamitd during the year; . . . the more tainted 
the fish is the better.* As for drinks, they do not know what 
these are, — the sagamitd serving as meat and drink."^ Loskiel 
also calls it one of the most common of Iroquois foods, 

Sagard, after describing the Huron dish called eschionque, 
or sagamit6, made of parched corn, flour, informs us that "for 
ordinary sagamit^, which they call ottet, raw corn is used, made 
into flour, without separating the latter from the coarser portion, 
which they cook plain, with a little meat or fish, if they have 
such, and also mixing at times squashes cut into pieces, if it 
should be their season, and often enough nothing at all; for 
fear that the meal may stick to the pot, they stir it frequently 
with the estoqua, then eat it."' Oil is also mentioned in another 
Relation as a favourite ingredient of "sagamita."" 

1 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXV, p. 153 (1649-50). 

Mbid., vol. XVIII, p. 11. 

' Ibid., vol. XLII, p. 71. 

* Champlain, Voyages, vol, III, pp. 162-164, mentions a food of this char- 
acter in which tainted fish was used. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 163. 

• Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 95. 

' Jesuit Relations, vol. V, p. 286. 

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Roger Williams applies the name of nasa^ump (samp) to 
"a kind of Meale Pottage, unpartch'd." He further remarks 
that "the English samp is corn, beaten and boiled and eaten 
hot or cold with milk or butter." This was among the "Nari- 
ganset" and neighbouring tribes.^ 

Hominy, properly speaking, is prepared from the flint corn. 
The ordinary procedure is to place a suitable quantity of the 
shelled grain into the mortar. A little water is added, say a 
ladleful or three or four tablespoonfuls, sometimes also a very 
small quantity of soda. The corn is pounded slowly at first, 
in order to loosen the hulls, then more vigorously, until it is 
broken up into coarse particles. It is then sifted, the coarser 
replaced in the mortar, and the pounding continued. The 
portion left after the second sifting is thrown away. The meal 
is next winnowed by tossing in a bowl or basket, the latter re- 
ceptacle being held so as to ' expose the contents as much as 
possible to the wind. The coarser hulls are frequently brushed 
away with the wing of a fowl.^ A bark fan is referred to by 
Sagard,' who also mentions the "plat k vanner," or flat vessel 
used for winnowing.* Loskiel apparently refers to this pro- 
cedure in one of his "twelve ways of dressing corn," where he 
mentions that "they grind it as fine as flour by means of a wooden 
pestle and mortar, clear it from the husk and make a thick 
pottage of it."° 

UnQ'daa', or corn soup, may also be made from other kinds 
of corn, such as popcorn, which is really a flint, and from bread 
corn, hulled in the ordinary way and ground to a meal. An 
Oneidatown informant" stated that the name ononda" is applied 
there to hulled and crushed corn mush cooked without meat, 
also to a soup prepared with meat. Beans may also be used. 
The latter are cooked separately so as to keep them whole, 
and at the proper time they are added to the corn soup. Pork, 

'Williams, Roger, Key, p. 33. 
' Informant, Peter John (On.). 

• Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 95. 

* See also Smith's Virginia in Pinkerton's Voyages, vol. 13, p. 32. 
' Loskiel, History, p. 67. 

' Henry Danford. 

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beef, chicken, etc., are often used as a basis. Another inform- 
ant' from the same locality stated that a mush of hulled corn, 
pounded to quite a fine mccil, is made and eaten with or without 
milk and sugar, in the same way as rice or porridge. Still 
another Oneidatown recipe refers to the use of salmon — dodia" oy . 
The fish was hung up in the sun until rotten. A pointed stick 
was stuck into the abdomen, letting the rotted flesh and other 
contents run into a dish or pot of ononda". These were cooked 
together and were considered delicious. 

At the Oneidatown Bear Dance, the foods used are cracked 
corn soup with beans and sugar, also a green corn dish called 
ho'la*. Hominy, in the shape of soup or mush, is used at other 
ceremonial festivities, including the Strawberry Dance. A 
Seneca name applied to this dish is ononda'a'. The same 
name is sometimes used for a green corn soup, or to a soup made 
of the whole grain hulled by boiling in ashes. 

Coarse Hominy — oncsdwwane's (On.). 

Soup made from a coarse hominy meal is frequently called 
ontsdu'wane's, a word signifying "coarse particles." Sunflower 
oil or butter may be added. 

Dried Pumpkin Hominy — una'wijgaa' ung'daa' (jOn.). 

Another variant of hominy is made by boiling the coarse 
meal (ontsdu'wane's) to a thin mush. Dried pumpkin is pre- 
viously put into water, pounded slightly, sifted in the coarse 
hominy basket, and added to the boiling hominy. It should 
boil for about two hours. It is eaten with milk and sugar. 
The name means "dried pumpkin hominy." 

Early Hominy — degan^hi'a' gi' ung'daa' (On.). 

This is a favourite dish about the time the flint or hominy 
corn has ripened, but has not yet been dried. The grain is 
shelled, placed in the mortar, pounded lightly so as to crush it a 
little, then thrown into boiling water. Whole beans not quite 

• Anthony Day. 

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ripe are added; the boiling is continued until the hominy is 
cooked. It is then seasoned to suit with butter and salt. 

A second way is to put in milk or cream and sugar instead 
of other seasoning materials. This makes a sweet soup. 

Another way is to slightly crush a suitable quantity of Jthe 
corn and beans and boil these with beef, venison, or any kind 
of game. Salt and pepper are used for seasoning. 

Early Corn Pudding — utcu^'gwana'wq' udji'Sgwa' (On.). 

The first step in preparing early corn pudding is the same 
as for early bread, except that the corn is pounded to a rather 
moist meal which is rather hard to sift. 

Some pork is first boiled and the meal stirred into it with a 
paddle, so as to make, when it begins to swell, a thick pudding. 
The name was translated as "soft corn pudding." 

Popcorn Mush or Pudding — aw^'sg^gwa' udji'sgwa' (On.). 

Popcorn, aw5"SQ"gwa', is the basis of a number of dishes 
which are highly in favour. It is very commonly popped and 
eaten and is considered a great dainty, as well as a treat for 
visitors. It was formerly popped by throwing it on the hot 
coals in an open fire-place, stirring it quickly, then pulling it 
out as it popped. 

For popcorn pudding, the corn is first popped, then pounded 
and sifted, and last of all boiled by adding to hot water until it 
thickens to the consistency required. This is eaten with syrup, 
sugar, and milk or cream, also with sour milk. 

Popcorn Soup or Hominy. 

The meal is prepared in the same way as for the mush or 
pudding, but was described as being more like hominy, parti- 
cularly the kind called ontsdu'wane's. 

The soup can be prepared in two ways: first, by boiling the 
meal along with some such meat as venison or beef, adding salt 
to season. This kind is called u"ne*ga"gei' (On.). A second 
method is to make a sweet soup by adding maple sugar. This 
is cooled and eaten with milk. The Onondaga name given was 
uwenowe'da"get' . 

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Green Corn on the Cob — gang'gw^"yu' {On.). 

A simple and always popular method of cooking green 
corn is to pluck it when the kernels have become somewhat 
firm, but are still milky. Bread corn is very commonly used 
in this way, though the sweet corn, Zea mays saccharata, is 
considered best. 

The ears are left enveloped in the husks, placed in boiling 
water, and cooked for half an hour or so, or until considered done. 
This was formerly eaten without seasoning of any sort, though 
butter is often used at present.^ 

A process of parching or roasting is often applied to boiled 
corn left over from a meal, although batches are often boiled, 
roasted slightly, then shelled and dried for winter use. This 
way of preparing corn is referred to by early writers. 

The boiled green corn may also be removed from the cob 
and dried without parching. This is one of the simplest methods 
of preservation, and is frequently mentioned historically. Corn 
preserved in this way may be either cooked as a soup or "saga- 
mit6", or along with venison and other meats. An Oneida 
name given for a soup of this kind was ho'la*. 

Succotash — ugg"sda' ung'daa' {On.). 

This food, like a number of the others mentioned, was used 
throughout a very wide area in America, confirming the sug- 
gestion that food recipes were often exchanged. 

Carver speaks of succotash as being in use among the 
"Ottagaumies, Saukies" and neighbouring nations. This con- 
sisted of "unripe corn and beans in the same state, boiled with 
bears' flesh. "^ The "Akansea" and other tribes of the southern 
plains region were found using similar recipes. Sagamit6 made 
of green corn is mentioned in the same connexion, also green 
corn seasoned with the peach and the squash.' 

' Charlevoix, A Voyage to North America, vol. II, p. 93. 

2 Carver, J., Travels, p. 263. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. LXV, p. 117. 

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Roger Williams refers to "boiled corn whole," which was 
called by the "Nariganset" msi'ckquatash.^ 

A Seneca method of making this dish is to scrape off the 
green corn with a knife, pound the corn before cooking, then dip 
out of the mortar with a ladle the juice which has been squeezed 
out in the pounding process and add it to the boiling soup. The 
name given was ononda'a', which is the general name for soup.^ 

Various kinds of vegetables in their season, such as beans, 
peas, pumpkins, were boiled with the corn. Mrs. John Gibson 
gave two methods for making succotash or green corn soup. 
The first was to cut the corn from the cob with a knife, or with 
the half of a deer's jaw with the articular portion or ramus 
broken off (Plate VI, fig. c). This is called, in Onondaga, 
egQsig^'ia'ta'. The corn is then placed in a kettle, some boiling 
water added, also a quantity of whole beans which are not 
quite ripe. Salt and butter are added to suit the taste. A 
second way differed in the seasoning, which was sugar, that of 
the maple being preferred when convenient. A name received 
at Caughnawaga for green corn was o'hgde' nigangsto'dgt (the 
corn is green). A name for green corn soup was oga'sero'da' 
ongdara'. The first word in the latter expression was said 
to be an old word for green corn.' 

Parched Green Corn Soup — unahw^gwa' wadi'djiq'hq.' (On.). 

Green corn, when nearly ripe, is gathered, roasted on the 
cob before the fire, or on the top of the stove, then shelled, 
dried over the stove, or in the sun, in an evaporating basket 
(Plate XXXV, figs, a, b), then put away in a bag or barrel for 
future use. Grain prepared in this manner is called wadi'dji^'h^' 
ganahug^'yQ (On.), or "dried parched corn." 

To cook, place a quantity of the corn in a kettle, add boiling 
water and boil for half an hour, drain, add fresh water, then 
some kind of meat. Boil for an hour and season with salt. 
Another way of seasoning is to sweeten. 

' Williams, Roger, Key into the Language of America, p. 33. 
'Alex. Snider, Tonawanda, N.Y. 
' Mrs. John Williams (Mo.). 

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Sagard gives some interesting particulars regarding utensils 
and methods among the Hurons: "The neintahouy is made as 
follows: the women roast a quantity of the corn ears, before 
they are quite ripe, leaning them against a stick resting on two 
stones before the fire, and turning them around from time to 
time until they are roasted sufficiently, or to do it more expedi- 
tiously they place the ears in a heap of sand which has first 
been heated to a high temperature by means of a fire which has 
been built on top of it, they then detach the grains, dry them 
in the sun, spread them out upon pieces of bark, after which 
they are stored in a receptacle (tonneau) with a third or a quarter 
portion of beans, agaressa, which they mingle with it, and when 
they wish to eat of it they boil it whole in their pot or cauldron, . . 
with a little fish, fresh or dry, if they have it on hand."^ 

Green Corn Soup — unqha'se" unahw^gwa' (On.). 

Green corn is husked and shelled from the cob with the 
hands. A fire is made outside. When a good bed of coals has 
been obtained, the embers are packed down level, the corn thrown 
on top and stirred with a stick, the coals being pulled over the 
corn a little. When the latter is sufificiently cooked, the ashes 
and fire are pulled away, the corn put into a coarse hominy 
basket, and the ashes and coals sifted out, after which it is 
washed with cold water, and boiled in a kettle with meat and 
beans. Salt is added, also pepper, if desired, although the 
latter is not much used.* 

Green Corn Baked — ogg'sad' uh&'^gwa' (On.). 

A way of preparing green corn' that is much enjoyed is to 
scrape the green corn off with the deer's jaw scraper, place it in 
a pem, and bake it into a. cake, somewhat of the consistency 
of corn bread. This is said to be excellent with hot bread and 

This dish has been thought to be of comparatively modern 
invention, although it could have been quite readily baked in 

'Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 95. 

« Pinkerton's Voyages, vol. 12,. p. 258. 

• Mrs. Lyons, Onondaga Castle, and others. 

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earthenware vessels, on flat stones, or in the embers. Morgan 
makes mention of it in 1850. The name signifies "green corn 
bread or cake." 

Dried Corn Soup — ogg'sad' udji'sgwa' {On.). 

When not required for immediate use, the baked corn just 
described is broken up into small pieces, dried in the sun or 
over the stove and stored away for future reference. This makes 
an excellent soup, or "pudding," when soaked a little, then boiled 
and seasoned. 

Roasted Corn in the Ear — wadi'djid'ha' ung'^gw^'^ya' {On.). 

One of the commonest methods of preparing green corn is 
to roast it before the fire and eat it without further preparation, 
though butter and salt are often used at present. 

Champlain states that "corn freshly roasted is highly 
esteemed."! Many other observers describe the same method 
of preparation. A slight variation practised was to roast the 
ears in hot ashes. 

A method in vogue, particularly some years ago, was to dig 
a trench in the ground, build a good fire in it so as to get a good 
bed of embers, then place a stout stick lengthwise over the top 
with the ends resting on a couple of stones. The ears of green 
corn were then leaned against the stick on both sides and turned 
from time to time until they were roasted. The corn was then 
eaten with or without salt and butter. It may also be scraped 
off and dried for future use. 

A Seneca name given for roasted corn in the ear was wade''- 
djeaydak. To roast corn is gde'dje'^ud^'. A Caughnawaga 
name is ygdengt gwg.'gta' oga'sero'da'. 

Young people, according to S. Anderson (Mo.), are told 
that if they break a cob of green corn into pieces instead of eating 
it from the whole cob, they will be chased by o'na''tsa', a malev- 
olent being which is believed to consist of legs only. This 

1 Champlain, Voyages, p. 163. 

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creature is said to frequent lonely places in the forest and always 
indicates by his appearance some misfortune, such as a death in 
the family. 

Green Corn Leaf Bread — unid'tsha' (On.). 

According to Chief Gibson, the leaves are sometimes folded 
on the midrib, then doubled over at each end to form an oblong 
envelope or pocket some 4 or 5 inches long. This is filled 
with green corn scraped from the cob with a knife or the deer's 
jaw scraper. Another envelope a little longer is slipped over the 
first so as to make a closed package, which is tied once around the 
middle with basswood bark. The corn is frequently pounded to 
a paste in the mortar before using, though this is considered un- 
necessary when the scraper is employed. The packages are 
cooked for about three-quarters of an hour. 

Another method of making into packages was given by a 
Tonawanda Seneca. ^ This consisted of filling a small quantity 
of the paste into a corn leaf bent double, then covering it around 
in the same way with other leaves, a sufficient number being used 
to prevent the contents from escaping. A string of bark is then 
wrapped several times around the leaves just above the ball of 
paste and tied. Cooked and shelled green beans are often added 
to the paste. Berries are used for the same purpose; also 
apples cut up small; or meat, such as that of the deer. 

A Cayuga name given by David Jack for the smaller club- 
shaped packages, tied at one end, was u*°hQ'sta' (similis testi- 
culo). The longer packages of a similar shape are called gania'- 
tsha', which means a "bob" or bunch of hair, similar to that worn 
by the women. A large cake-like leaf-package is called una''daa' 
gadJQwa'sQ (bread wrapped in corn leaves). All these forms are 
frequently used at the Green Corn Dance, as well as for home 
consumption. The smaller packages were often cooked in the 
broth made in cooking venison. The packages are sometimes 
broken open and the contents dried. All of those described are 
exactly similar to those used in the making of leaf and wedding 

'Alex. Snider. 

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When the corn is done, the coverings are removed and the 
contents eaten with butter, salt, etc. Formerly sunflower oil 
or bear's grease was used in place of the latter. 

Historical references to leaf bread among the Iroquois and 
surrounding nations are numerous. Adair refers to a similar 
preparation in use among the Chickasaw and neighbouring tribes, 
which was made of chestnuts and corn. Both were taken when 
green and full-grown. The chestnut kernels were half boiled, 
the green corn was sliced from the ear and both were pounded in 
the mortar, then kneaded, wrapped in corn blades to form pack- 
ages about an inch thick, and boiled. A sort of boiled bread was 
mentioned, which was mixed with beans and potatoes.* 

Sagard describes a leaf-bread made by the ancient Hurons, 
which he found little to his liking. The "women, girls and chil- 
dren with their teeth detach the grains which they eject into large 
bowls which they have at hand, and finish by pounding it in the 
large mortars; and as this paste is very syrupy it is of necessity 
wrapped in the leaves to cook it under the ashes according to the 
custom. This chewed bread is the most highly esteemed among 


The earlier historical accounts describe a number of Iro- 
quois foods, the use of which has been discontinued. 
li' Iv Green corn on the cob, for example, is probably seldom eaten 
raw at present, though Lafitau remarks that "when the Indian 
corn is yet soft and almost milky, it is crushed slightly without 
separating it from the cob ; it is then very agreeable to the taste."' 
This seems to have been most frequently used in emergencies, 
or when lack of time prohibited further preparation. The 
use is noted among the New York Iroquois of "very short rations 
consisting solely of Indian corn just picked." This was in the 
Relation of 1652-53. 

' Adair, History of the American Indians, pp. 407, 408. 
' Sagard, Voyages, vol. I, p. 94. 
• Lafitau, Moeurs, vol. II, p. 93. 
Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XL, p. 151. 

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Cornstalks were sometimes utilized, according to Bartram,* 
who observed some of the Iroquois "chewing raw Indian corn- 
stalks, spitting out the substance after they sucked out the juice." 
These are said to have been found quite sweet and palatable 
by many. Smith's "Virginia" mentions the same food, also such 
recent writers as Mrs. H. S. Caswell in "Our Life Among the 
Iroquois." A number of the older people still remember seeing 
sections of cornstalk cut between joints and chewed as a means of 
quenching thirst. 

The use of stinking corn by the Hurons is described quite 
graphically by Sagard: "For leindohy, or bled puant, a large 
quantity of ears is taken, not yet perfectly ripe and dry, so as to 
be more susceptible to the acquisition of the odor, and this the 
women place in some pond or puddle of stagnant water, for a 
period of two or three months, at the end of which they remove it 
and this serves as a material for feasts of much importance, 
cooked as neintahouy, and they also eat it roasted under the hot 
cinders, licking their fingers while handling these stinking ears, 
as though they were bits of sugar cane, notwithstanding that 
the taste and odor are vile, and more infectious than the filthiest 
gutters."^ Champlain also refers to the "corn rendered putrid 
in pools or puddles." No recollection of this dish was found 
among present-day Iroquois. 

A quotation is given by Parker to the effect that "when they 
were travelling or lying in wait for their enemies they took with 
them a kind of bread made of Indian corn and tobacco juice, 
which, says Campanius, was a very good thing to allay hunger and 
quench thirst in case they have nothing else at hand."' 


Bear's Pudding — wgwaiH'neha" {On.). 
This was described by Chief Gibson as consisting of corn 
soup pr hominy made in the usual way, but seasoned with sugar. 

' Bartram, Observations, p. 47. 

Pinkerton's Voyages, vol. 13, p. 32. 
' Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 97. 

Champlain, Voyages, vol. Ill, p. 162. 
' Vincent, History of Delaware, Phila., 1870, pp. 74, 75. 

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Meat was said not to be used in that locality at all, the idea being 
to prepare foods which a bear is supposed to like. 

The services of the Bear Society may be indicated by a dream 
or by some other circumstance which may be interpreted by the 
local "fortune-teller" to mean that a meeting of the society is 
required as a medical procedure. 

The person requiring the ceremony must prepare the corn 
soup, also some sweetened juice or wine of huckleberries or black- 
berries. When the society meets, tobacco is burned and speeches 
are made asking the bear to relieve the patient. The leader then 
takes a drink of the blackberry juice, and also gives a little to 
the patient. They then sing to the^ accompaniment of horn 
rattles and the water drum. The leader begins the dancing, 
the others falling in. If the sick person can dance, it is so much 
the better. At the end of the ceremony there is a distribution 
of the soup. 

Buffalo Dance Pudding — deyuna^gai'dnta' (On.). 

The buffalo dance pudding is used by members of the Buffalo 
Society or Company. A meal is made of bread corn and is 
used in the preparation of a thick pudding sweetened with maple 
or other sugar. It is intended to represent the mud in which the 
buffalo wallows. The necessity for the ceremony is indicated 
in a similar manner to that for the Bear Dance ceremony. An 
Oneidatown recipe includes the addition of beef to the pudding. 

Ball Players' Pudding — gadji^gwae'' {On.). 

When a person has been suffering from some ailment such as 
rheumatism, lame back, fever, or headache, it may be decided, 
as before, that a game of lacrosse is required. The leader of the 
players, is notified. The sick person then prepares a quantity 
of white bread or Tuscarora corn. This is parched or roasted, 
pounded, and sifted to a fine meal. A large potful of water 
is brought to a boil, the meal stirred in, and some maple or other 
sugar added, also some fried pork and gravy, the whole being 
boiled to form a mush. 

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There is usually to be found in such ceremonies some con- 
nexion, imaginary or otherwise, between the illness and the 
remedy proposed, the ball game possibly suggesting that the 
activity of the players will remove any sickness affecting the 
activity of the patient. At the end of the game the mush 
or pudding is consumed by those present. 

False-face Pudding — gagg"sa' hodidji'sgwa' (On.). 

The False-face pudding is eaten both at the regular meetings of 
thte False-face Society, as well as when the services of the Society 
are invoked in certain ailments. The pudding is also made of 
parched corn meal and maple sugar boiled to form a "mush" 
or pudding, sunflower or bear's oil being sometimes used as a 

The food is supposed to be specially pleasing to the False- 
faces, who have the power of distorting the faces of those who 
speak disrespectfully while participating in the ceremony and 
. particularly while eating the pudding.^ The patient must eat 
along with the others. 


Beans of various kinds appear to have been connected from 
an early date with Iroquois agriculture, and, like corn and 
certain other products, to have become interwoven with a 
number of mythological concepts. The "Three Sisters," a"sf 
nadegQd4'nQ'daa' (On.), for instance, were a well-known trinity 
of deities, the guardian spirits of corn, beans, and squashes. 
The bean is also associated more or less intimately with the 
annual ceremonies of planting-time and thanksgiving after 

The beans cultivated are mostly of the genus Phaseolus, 
which is considered to have been indigenous to South America. 
The genus includes, also, the Limas and the runners ^ (Plate 

1 Parker, A. C, New York State Museum Bulletin 144, p. 79. 
^ Common, or kidney bean, Phaseolus vulgaris; Lima bean, Phaseolus 
lunatus; Runners (Scarlet, etc.), Phaseolus rmdtiflorus. 

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The Jesuit Relations and the accounts of most early writers 
abound in references to bean culture and to the many varieties 
which were met with among the Iroquois and other tribes. 
Beverly, in describing the agriculture of the Virginia Indians, 
among whom were no doubt included the Cherokee, remarks 
that "they likewise plant a Bean in the Same Hill with the 
Corn, upon whose stalk it sustains itself. The Indians sow'd 
Peas (beans, evidently) sometimes in the Intervals of the Rows 
of Corn, but more generally in a Patch of Ground by themselves. 
They have an unknown Variety of them, but all of a Kidney- 
Shape, some of which I have met with wild."^ Cartier noted 
that the Indians met with on his voyages had "beans of all 
colors, yet differing from ours."'' Josselyn mentions beans 
which were "white, black, red, yellow, blue, spotted, besides 
your Bonivis and Calavances, and the kidney-bean that is 
proper to Roanoke. But these are brought into the country; 
the others are natural to the climate."' Pole or climbing beans 
were evidently planted with the corn and the dwarf varieties 
by themselves. 

Over sixty different bean varieties were collected by the 
writer; of these some fifty or more were cultivated by Professor 
R. B. Thomson and H. B. Sifton of the University of Toronto, 
to whom the writer is indebted for a number of the identifications 

Horticultural varieties have been included, as the history 
of these is so obscure, in many cases, as to suggest that they may 
have been more or less directly due to Indian horticulture.* 

Beans of all kinds are roughly classified by the Iroquois into 
"bread beans" and "soup beans," the former being used in the 
making of corn bread, and the latter as an ingredient of soup. 
The classification naturally varies with individual preference. 
Beans of a short, round type are further referred to as 

' Beverly, History and Present State of Virginia, vol. II, p. 29. 
' Cartier, Bref Ricit, p. 31. 
" Josselyn, Voyages, pp. 73, 74. 

' Jarvis, C. D., American Varieties of Beans, Cornell University Bulletin, 
No. 260. 

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The following are some of the more frequently occurring 

Cranberry Beans} 

1. White with maroon and buff markings ventrally or around 

the eye; identified as Golden Wax (Plate XXXIV, 
fig. f2): 

niyu^'sagwahaha^yuk deyuditgw^'da^da' (On.) : 
gahutsherag^'ra osahe'ida' (Mo.) . 

2. White; resembles White Marrow or Cranberry (Plate 

XXXIV, fig. a 1) : 

na^yuk (Ca.) ; a''yuk u'sahei'daga'ada (On.). 

3. Maroon; pole, poor climber; resembles Arlington Red 

Cranberry; collected at Oneidatown, Ontario (Plate 
XXXIV, fig. a 2). 

4. Black; climbing (Plate XXXIV, fig. a 3) : 

ofyuk niyu§'sagwaha (On.). 

5. Light buff with brownish ring around hilum or eye; climb- 

ing (PlateXXXIV, fig. a4): 
a"yuk u^'sis eha'ta' u*gw^'da' (On.). 

6. Light yellow or sulphur-coloured; identified as Eureka 

(PlateXXXIV, fig. a 5): 
a"yukdji'twga' (On.). 

7. Buff, splashed and speckled with maroon (Plate XXXIV, 

fig. a 6) : 

ga'hugk udisahe'i'da' (On.), or Wild Goose Bean; 

ha''yuk (Ca.), applied to a similar bean. 

Bread Beans. 

8. Buff with maroon stripes and markings; a large-sized 

bean; bush; frequently referred to as the "old-fashioned 

bread bean," although sometimes used for soup 

(Plate XXXIV, figs, b 1, b 2); 

ga'hugk (Ca. and On.) ; 

gana'daluk deyeyist usahe't (Oneida) ; 

gana'dq. doganpstQ'han' usahe'ida' (Mo.). 

' A general term in the Mohawk dialect spoken at Caughnawaga is dog- 
wa'hert' uzahe'da'. 

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9. BuflF with dark stripes, a light brown ring around the 
hilum; a small bean; resembles Scotia; pole, rather 
poor climber; a bread and soup bean; claimed as a 
very old Iroquois variety (Plate XXXIV, fig. b 3) ; 
t^do'gai'i (Ca.); 
atgo'a sahe^da' (Ca.), or Wampum Bean. 

10. Brownish, striped and speckled with black to brownish 

black; bush; long kidney-shape; resembles Speckled 
Wax (Plate XXXIV, figs, b 4, b 5) : 
gana'daluk deyeytst usahe't (Oneida). 

11. Striped and speckled with black and white; long, rather 

flat; an Iroquois hybrid (?); collected at Oneidatown 
(Plate XXXIV, fig. b 6). 

12. Reddish brown, with dark red markings; truncated at 

ends; bush; resembles Best of All (Plate XXXIV, 
fig. c 1). 

13. Dark brown, with darker stripes; broad and rather flat; 

pole; rather variable (Plate XXXIV, fig. c 2): 
naday'ia'ta' sahe"da' (Ca.). 

14. Buff, striped with maroon to nearly black; short and flat; 

climbing; planted with corn; claimed to be an old 

variety, perhaps one of the oldest (Plate XXXIV, 


u'sahe'i'da' deyiha'gwayi'sda'kwa' u^'sis (On.); 

o'ia'gekaa' (Sen.) 

15. Dark salmon with red to black speckles and blotches; 

bush (Plate XXXIV, fig. c 4): 
gana'daluk deyeyist usahe't (Oneida). 

Soup or Corn Soup Beans. 

16. Dark seal brown to nearly black ventrally and on lower 

end, white dorsally; bush; resembles Leopard; 
collected among Oneida (Plate XXXIV, fig. c 5). 

17. Dull brown, a dark ring around the eye; rather long and 

narrow; pole; one form grown from the seed re- 
sembled Old Southern Prolific (Plate XXXIV, fig. c 6) : 
ga'hio'tslis (Oneida). 

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18. Buff with maroon striping; long kidney-shape; some 

samples grown were pole, resembling Brockton, 
others bush, resembling Ruby Horticultural; also 
called a bread bean ; collected at Oneidatown. 

19. Deep brown with white at tip and somewhat dorsally; 

bush; Indian hybrid (?) (Plate XXXIV, fig. d 1): 
honodala usahe't (Oneida). 

20. Scarlet Runner {Phaseolus multiflorus) : 

yelano'KWA (Oneida). 

21. A small bean, heavily blotched with maroon and buff; 

bush, with some runners; resembles Byer (Plate 

XXXIV, fig. d 2): 

atgo'a (Ca.), Wampum Bean. 

22. Ruby Horticultural ; bush ; early or medium (Plate XXXIV 

fig. d3): 

dogwa'i* (Oneida), or Cranberry. 

23. Light reddish brown, with darker stripes and markings; 

pole; Indian hybrid (?) (Plate XXXIV, fig. d 4): 
honondala usahe't (Oneida). 

Other Varieties (use not stated). 

24. Dark brown bean; small; bush; collected at Tonawanda 

(Plate XXXIV, fig. d 5). 
oyf'gwa"a' (Sen.). 

25. Reddish brown, with black stripes; short, broad, and rather 

flat (Plate XXXIV, fig. d 6) : 
u'sahe'i'da' unate^e'niQ (On.). 

26. Light buff, with a reddish brown ring around the eye; 

long, narrow, and rather pointed at ends; pole; 
long pods (Plate XXXIV, fig. e 1) : 
Qtdiowas (Ca.). 

27. Light fawn, blotched and finely speckled with dark red; 

a very short bean, with truncated ends; Cut Short; 
has been known horticulturally for at least seventy- 
five years; sometimes called Corn-hill, or Corn Bean; 
collected among Oklahoma Seneca by C. M. Barbeau 
(Plate XXXIV, fig. e 2). 

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Green Beans in the Pod — gatgwqdavstia"gc' {On.). 

Green beans in the pod may be cooked, while fresh, and 
made into a soup. In preparing this, the pods are cut into pieces 
and boiled until tender. Fresh milk, also butter and salt, are 
added. The two recipes last mentioned have become very 
popular among the whites. 

Another way of cooking green beans in the pod is to cook 
them whole, without slicing. The red cranberry bean is usually 
chosen. When done, they are taken by the stem, the head is 
thrown back, the pod taken into the mouth and drawn between 
the teeth, leaving the strings or fibres behind. 

A slightly different way is to boil the pods until tender, then 
add butter and seasoning. A name given for the latter was 
u"sahe4'da'se'i' gatgw?"du' (On.). 

Green Beans Shelled — wsahe'da'se' (On.). 

The beans are taken when fully formed, but not yet ripe, 
placed in a pot, boiled, and seasoned to suit the taste. 

Fried Beans — ga'sah&'do'^gwa' gasahedagqi'da'wr o^na''gt' (On.). 

Green beans in the pod are first boiled until tender. Then 
they are fried in bear or sunflower oil. Butter would be a modern 

Beans with Corn — wsahe'da'se' ga'sahe'i'du' un^ha'se'gi' {On.). 

In this recipe, green, shelled beans are boiled with green 
sweet corn. Meat may be added. The preparation is then 
seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter or fat. 

Soup of Dried Beans — a"yuk u*gw^'da'si' gaha''di' {On.). 

Green beans in the pod are also prepared by boiling, drying 
in evaporating baskets or on a flat board, and storing away in a 

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bag or barrel. When required for use, they are soaked, then 
boiled in the usual way, after which butter and seasoning are 
added. Cranberry beans are favoured. 

Beans and Squash — u'nvgsa'odji'sgwa' {On.). 

Green beans in the pod are cooked with squash cut up into 
small pieces. This is considered a very old way. 

A variant of this is to cook cranberry beans in the pod, and, 
when they are nearly dry, to serve them in the shell of a boiled 
squash. "^ 

Green Beans with Meat — ga'negagei''tcdni" hega'wahei''wi^ (On.). 

Green pod beans are cut into small pieces, then placed in the 
pot along with some kind of meat, such as pork or beef. 

Sweet Soup — usahe'da'gei' {On.). 

Ripe shelled beans are washed with hot water; those that 
float and are bad are picked out; the remainder are cooked until 
soft; sugar is then added to make a sweet soup. 

Mashed Beans^—gadjisgg-'ni' wsahe'i'da' {On.). 

Beans are often cooked "like potatoes," to use the expression 
of an informant, then mashed with a. masher or pounder. The 
dish is also called u'sahe'i'da' o'dji'sgwa' (On.). 

Beans Mixed with Bread. 

Beans are very frequently — in fact, usually — mixed with 
corn bread, although other materials are occasionally used. The 
beans are first cooked just so that they are a little firm and will 
remain whole. They are then mixed with corn bread paste and 
again cooked in the making of the bread. 

» Parker, A. C, Bulletin 144, New York State Museum, p. 90. 

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Bean Soup — wsahe'da'gei' {On.).^ 

The ripe beans are boiled with meat and stirred and mashed 
with a paddle until they are thoroughly mixed. The meat used 
may be beef, venison, or any other kind. 

Other Terms {On.). 

Bean pole, o'anoda'kwa' usahe'i'da'. 

Bean vine, u'sahe'i'da' ug^sa'. 

Bean pod, u'sahe'i'da' utgw§''da'. 

The string in a pod, utgw^''da' u'gwaa'. 

Stem of a pod, sa'ng diyunip'da'. 

Explanation of Terms. 

dogwa'i' (Oneida) 

dogwa'hen' (Mo.). a cranberry. 

a"yuk (On.) 

ha''yuk (Ca.) 

U'sahe'i'da' (On.) 

osahe'ida' (Mo.) [ a bean. 

usahe't (Oneida) 

sahe"da' (Ca.) 

u^'sis (On.), climbing. 

dji'tgwa' (On.), yellow. 

utgw^'da' (On.), red. 

oy^'gwa"^' (Sen.), smoky-coloured, brown. 

ga'hurjk (On.), a wild goose. 

gana'daluk (Oneida) 1 bread. 

gana'd^ (Mo.) J 

deyiha'gwayi'sda'kwa' (On.), mixed with bread. 

deyeytst (Oneida), mixed with. 

atgo'a (Ca.), wampum. 

' Seneca, usai'i'dagi'. 

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Many varieties of Cucurbitacecs, including pumpkins, 
squashes, cucumbers, and melons, were cultivated by the Iro- 
quois and are the subject of frequent mention historically, 
although, unfortunately, they are not always described so that 
we can determine the species. 

Most of the CucurbitacecB are considered to be of American 
origin, the exceptions being the water-melon, some of the varie- 
ties of cucumber, and, possibly, also Cucurbita maxima, of 
which the Hubbard squash is a type, and which are thought to 
have been imported after the discovery.^ Cartier enumerates at 
least three species of CucurbitacecB. Hariot, in 1586, found 
growing in Virginia a number of kinds of "pompions, melons, 
and gourds." Beverly, also, mentions the "cushaws," which 
he describes as "a kind of Pompion of a bluish-green Colour, 
streaked with white, when they are fit for Use. They are larger 
than the Pompions and have a long narrow Neck." "Macocks" 
are defined by the same writer as "a sort of Melopepones, or 
lesser sort of Pompion, of these they have a great Variety; 
but the Indian Name Macock serves for all."* "Smith's Voyages" 
also differentiates between "pompions and macocks." Brickell, 
"History of North Carolina," enumerates "Gourds, Mellons, 
Cucumbers, Squashes, Semblens."' In a general way, the term 
pompion or pumpion seems to have been applied to the forms of 
Cucurbita pepo which we call pumpkins; and macock, cushaw, 
and symnel or semblen to those which are commonly referred to 
as squashes.* The symnel is considered to have been the scal- 
loped squash. 

• Sturtevant, History of Garden Vegetables, Amer. Nat., vol. XXIII, p. 673. 
' Beverly, History, vol. II, p. 27. 

» Brickell, History of North Carolina, p. 289. 

* De CandoUe, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 252, considers macock and 
cushaw as referring to pumpkins and quotes Dr. Harris, American Journal, 
1857, vol. XXIV, p. 441, and Trumbull, BuU. of Torrey Bat. Club, 1876, vol. 
VI, p. 69, in support of this view. De CandoUe asserts, conservatively, that 
"all that we learn ... is that the natives a century after the discovery 
of Virginia and twenty to forty years after its colonization by Sir Walter 
Raleigh, made use of some fruits of the Cucurbitacese." 

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Josselyn, in "New England Rarities," refers to the "Squashes, 
but more truly squoutersquashes, a kind of mellon or rather 
gourd; for they sometimes degenerate into gourds. Some of 
these are green; some yellow; some longish, like a gourd; others 
round like an apple; all of them pleasant food, boyled and but- 
tered and seasoned with spice. But the yellow squash — called 
an apple' squash (because like an apple) and about the bigness of 
a pome water — is the best kind."' 

Aboriginal squashes are ever3rwhere referred to as having 
been delicious. The Relation of 1656-57 states that among the 
dainties which were served up by the early Onondagas were 
"the beans and squashes of the country, which are firmer and 
better than those of France." Le Jeune, 1636, informs us that 
"the squashes last sometimes four and five months, and are so 
abundant that they are to be had almost for nothing, and so good 
that, on being cooked in the ashes, they are eaten as apples are 
in France."^ Squashes, in fact, often formed the principal food 
at certain seasons,' and were not only kept fresh, but were cut 
into strips and placed in evaporating trays; or strung upon cords 
suspended near the fireplace until dry, then stored away. 
Squashes are also said to have been placed in storage pits, along 
with other garden products, and dug out from time to time as 
occasion required.* 

Suggestions of the ceremonial importance of the squash are 
frequent. Feasts, such as those in response to dreams, were often . 
made from it.' It is also eaten in present-day longhouse cere- 
monies. The squash rattles used by the Medicine Societies 
are most frequently made from the long-handled calabash or 
gourd {Lagenaria vulgaris), although such squashes as the summer 
crookneck and the old-fashioned hard-shelled varieties were some- 
times used. 

' Josselyn, New England Rarities, p. 89. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. X; p. 103. 

•Ibid., vol. LXVII, p. 213; vol. XXVII, p. 65. 

' Mrs. John Gibson (Ca.) and other informants confirm this statement. 

Ibid., vol. LVII, p. 251. 
» Ibid., vol. LVII, p. 251. 

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On some occasions, as a result of over-eating, squashes seem 
to have been the cause of severe intestinal disturbances. Hecke- 
welder observed "that these fevers break out nearly always in 
the wild plum season, . . . sometimes, also, after a long famine 
or deprivation of food; when they eat to excess the green corn, 
squashes (courges) and other watery vegetables."^ Similar 
references are to be found elsewhere. The Relations note that 
few died of this complaint.^ 

A number of the older people still cultivate a few of these 
old-fashioned squashes, of which specimens were obtained on 
several of the reservations. One of these resembled a very small 
pumpkin; the other was a rather small, marrow-like squash, 
very variable in form and producing five or six distinct varieties 
from the same seed. The varieties were round to oblong and 
from dark green to dark green with stripes of a lighter shade. 
None of these were referable to commonly known seedstore 

Squashes were commonly planted in the hills of corn, the 
two kinds of seed being dropped in together.' Pumpkins were 
grown in a similar manner. Melons might be grown in some 
sheltered clearing, where there was sufficient sunlight to make 
them ripen. 

Varieties of CucurbitacecB^ {Onondaga Names). 

The small, pumpkin-like squash: u'niQsa'p'wt' udji'tgwa' 

ni'yut; onapslap'WE" (Oneida). 
The small, variable, marrow-like squash: u'niQ^sa'Q'wi". 
Marrow (common): u'nip^sa'Q'wi* u'nip'sis (squash, long). 
Summer crookneck: u'gu'aa' u'nip'sa'Q'wc". 

' Heckewelder, History, p. 355. 

* Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. LXIV, p. 177. 

'Squashes, in some places, are planted early in hot beds, then trans- 
planted; in earlier times they are said also to have been started indoors. 

<The Cucurbitacese are classified botanically as pumpkin, vegetable 
marrow, summer crookneck, scalloped squash: Cucurbita pepo; Hubbard 
squash: Cucurbita maieima;^ winter crookneck: CucurHta moschata; water- 
melon, citron: Cucumis citruUus; muskmelon: Cucumis melo; cucumber: 
Cucumis saUvus. 

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Scalloped squash: u'nu'skahe'dQ' u'niQ'sa'p'wt'. 
Pumpkin: u'nipso'wan^'s wad§'ses (dragging it along); 

nowadays the first word only is used; oneijzeragp'a 

(Mo., Caughnawaga). 
Hubbard squash: dega'nig'sa'si'haa'. 
Winter crookneck: dega'nip^sa'si'haa' onag'aa' (horn). 
Water-melon: niQsaga"dt* (melon to eat raw). 
Citron: ena'djiu'tha' nipsaga^dt' (cooking melon). 
Muskmelon: wahia'.is (getting ripe). 
Cucumber: uduQskai'ani". 

Boiled Squash — wae'nigsu' {On.). 

Cut the squash into halves; wrap in basswood leaves and 
place in a kettle; add a little water; boil for two hours; remove 
leaves, and place on a wooden or bark dish (u'sgda') ; eat with- 
out further preparation. 

Squash Baked in Ashes — wade'nigsg'da'gwa' o'gqhdgg'wa' (On.). 

The whole squashes are placed under hot coals and cinders, 
obtained by kindling a large fire in the open, or in an old-fashioned 
fire-place. The ashes are then washed off and the squashes served. 
Another name applied is wade'nig'syda" (On.). 

Mashed Squash — u'nig'sa' wdji'sgwa' {On.). 

Take the squashes when sufficiently mature, cut into small 
pieces, boil, and mash. Eat with butter and a little sugar. In 
olden times deer suet and maple sugar were used. Any squash 
may be cooked in this manner. 

Squash Used in Bread-Making. 

Old-fashioned squashes (uniQ^sa'g'wf u'nigsee'dji's) are 
cut into small pieces, boiled and mashed, then mixed into the 
paste when making corn bread. Dried squash may be boiled and 
mashed and used in the same way. 

Dried Squash. - 

In the autumn, among the Canadian Onondaga, squashes 
are frequently cut into narrow pieces lengthwise, then dried over 
the stove in flat evaporating trays or baskets. 

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In preparing them for use, the dried strips are washed in warm 
water, soaked, then boiled and eaten with butter. The strips 
are called una'p'geia' (On.). 

Pumpkin Sauce — wnigsu'wane's u'dji'sgwa' (On.). 

Pumpkins are cut into pieces, boiled, mashed, then sweetened 
and served for eating. 

Pumpkin is also cut into pieces and dried for use in winter. 
When required for eating, it is washed, boiled, mashed, and sweet- 
ened. A little lard may also be added. According to an Oneida 
recipe, the dried pumpkin may be boiled with meat to the con- 
sistency of "potato soup." 

Pumpkin with Beans — ga'nigswwi' tca'gatgw^'du' (On.). 

Cut the pumpkins, when fresh, into pieces; boil, adding green 
beans shelled and cooking them along with it ; add butter and salt. 

Preserved Cucumbers — dega'nigsa^hiywdjisdc (jOn.). 

Cucumbers are said to have been preserved by washing 
and placing them in a brine made with salt and sheep sorrel,* 
deyagu'na^djiaks (On.), the sorrel being placed at the top and 
bottom. Quite a bit of the latter was used. A board with a 
stone on it was placed on top of the contents, which were al- 
lowed to stand for a couple of weeks. Pickles prepared in this 
way were considered a great delicacy. This was probably a 
European recipe. 

Fried Squash. 

The squash is cut into quarters, placed in a bread pan, 
and put on the stove or in the oven to fry. Squash cooked in 
this way is either sweetened or seasoned with salt, pepper, and 

' Sheep sorrel, Rumex acetosella. 

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Dried Pumpkin Sauce — u'nigsa'thq wdji'sgwa' wna'wtjgaa' {On.). 

A quantity of dried pumpkin is placed in the corn-pounder 
and pounded, sifted to a fine meal or flour, boiled, and sweetened, 
after which grease is added. 

Baked Pumpkin — wa^diksu-'da' (On.). 

The dried pumpkin is pounded, sifted, then soaked in cold 
water for an hour to an hour and a half. It is then sweetened 
and grease added. A pan is greased, the pumpkin placed in it, 
marked with a knife into cakes, and baked in the oven. 

Cornmeal and Pumpkin — wdji'sgwa' {On.). 

The pumpkin is sliced, boiled, sugar is added, also Indian 
corn meal to make a pudding. This is eaten with sugar and 

Historical Foods. 

Mention is made historically of a number of ways of pre- 
paring pumpkins and squashes. Sagard refers to them as an 
ingredient of "eschionque," which consists of a "soup in which 
one has first cooked some shredded meat or fish, together with 
a quantity of squash, if so desired." This was thickened with 
a meal made of parched, dried corn. 

For ordinary "sagamitd," or "ottet" (Huron), unparched 
corn was ground to a flour and, without sifting, made into a 
soup with some sort of meat. During the squash season, 
squashes were frequently cut into pieces and added to the mix- 

Cooking squashes under the ashes was common and seems 
to have been a favourite method when open fire-places were in 

Squash flowers were sometimes used, though little recol- 
lection of this seems to exist at present. Upon the occasion of 
a visit paid by Bartram to Onondaga, in 1743, there was served 

' Sagard, Voyage, vol. I, p. 96. 

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a "kettle full of young squashes and their flowers boiled in water, 
and a little meal mixed." Bartram considered this "but weak 
food."^ The sterile or staminate flowers were employed. 

The Relation of 1638-39 states that "the usual sauce with 
the food is pure water, juice of corn or of squashes." 


Extensive use was made by the Iroquois of the vegetative 
parts of various plants, trees, and shrubs. They were in many 
cases considered great delicacies and were usually collected in 
the earlier part of the season, while young and tender. Many of 
them are still in use and include the following, which are cooked 
like spinach and seasoned with salt, pepper, or butter. 

Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, ua.'gw%'sda.' (On.), or tganpha"- 
sahi's (On., "milk comes out"), utshe'wa'nda (Mo.), 
gang'kwais (Ca.) ; used in three ways : 

1. The young plants, stem and leaves. 

2. When the stem becomes a little more mature, the 

leaves only are used. 

3. The immature flower clusters. 

Plants with white leaves should not be used. These are 

o'tgQ (On., "witch"). Informant, J. Jamieson, jun. 
Waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum, uatsg^'da' (On.), 

u'si'iuks (On.), ora'sge'^da' (Mo.) : the leaves or young 

Marsh marigold, Caltha palustris, ganawaha'ks (On., 

"makes a hole in the swamp"), ganawaha's (Ca.). 
Yellow dock, Rumex crispus, die'da' (On.), i'died? (Mo.), 

ganu'da' (Ca.): the young leaves, before the stem 

Pigweed, Chenopodium album, ganadang'^wi* (On.), skana- 

dany'wt' (Mo.), gwrsgwts gadiwano'gras (Ca., "pig 

eats it"). 
Lamb's quarters, Amaranthus retroflexus (Onondaga name 

same as preceding), diunhcgg (Ca.). 
Mustard, Brassica, various species, more particularly B. 

nigra, udji'tgwa' niaw5hu"d4: (On.). 

' Bartram, Journal, p. 59. 

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Purslane, Portulaca oleracea, udji'nowanhe"da' (On.), nonia- 

gai'i'i' uhiagwi'ia' (On., "partridge toes"), daksai'das 

usrda' (Ca., "chicken feet"), udja'sgw§'da' (Ca.). 
Dandelion, Taraxicum officinale, udji'tgwa' niaw^hu''dq. 

(On., "yellow flower"), odji'n'gwal' niyudji'djo"DTj 

(Oneida), ugah^do'nig (Ca., "holes in the stem"). 
Burdock, Arctium Lappa, unpgwa'si'wane's (On.): the 

young leaves are used. 
Nettle, Urtica dioica, gohe"cra's (Ca.) 
Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus fcetidus (Mo. o'se'dg"): 

(Ca., unra'dowa'nes ganQ''sagras) ; the young leaves 

and shoots. 
Leek, Allium tricoccum, u'np'sa' gpda'dowani'yu' (On., 

"onion wild"). 
Wild garlic. Allium canadense, u'ng'sa' ga'npsuha'ha' (On.). 
Wood betony, Pedicularis canadensis, and P- lanceolata, 

gwcdis (Ca.), gw5''dis (On.). 
Sjensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis, dwa'hydes gananitsga'- 

kwa' (Ca., "deer, what they lie on"), uni'suwekwa' 

(On., "bait"). 
A number of plants, such as the sheep sorrel, purslane, 
dandelion, water-cress, burdock, yellow dock, the mustards, 
and pigweed, are considered to be European introductions, a 
further illustration of the readiness of the Iroquois in the adop- 
tion of new materials. 

Other plants are said to have been eaten raw, in some cases 
with salt. These include: 

Watercress, Radicula nasturtium-aquaticum, ma^daks (On.), 

diusai"dawit (Ca., "pepper, tastes like"). 
Peppermint, various species, u'nai'yunt (Ca.). 
Oxalis, OxaUs corniculata, deyuhiyu''djis awenU"gaa' (On., 

"sour plant") 
Sheep sorrel, Rumex acetosella, qsu'tha' utgw^^da' niyut 

(On., "paint, red, like"). 
Leek and wild garlic. The bulbs, consisting of the fleshy 

bases of the leaves, are also eaten raw. 
Among the foods derived from the bark or branches of trees, 
shrubs, and woody vines are: 

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Grapevine, Vitis vulpina, u'Dipgwi'saa' (On.): the fresh 

shoots are eaten, without peeling. 
Sumac, Ehus glabra, utgo''da' (On.) : the fresh shoots peeled 

and eaten raw. 
Red Raspberry, Rubus aculeatissimus, na'djiu''gwa' (On.); 

the fresh shoots are peeled and eaten. 
Pine, Pinus strobus, and others, u'na''da' (On.), u'ne'dago'wa 
(Mo., white pine), gaiyydara'ggi (Mo., white pine). 
Cornstalk: sections are cut between the joints and chewed 

to quench the thirst; said to have a sweet taste. 
Bark of the soft maple, Acer rubra and A. saccharinum, 
aw§ha'tgwa (On.); the bark is dried beside the fire, then 
pounded in the mortar, sifted, and made into a bread; 
said not to taste badly. 
Bark of the hard or sugar maple,' Acer saccharum, uhwa^da' 

(On.) : is used in the same way as the preceding. 
Deer excrement was, until quite recently, gathered and made 
into a soup by itself, or a small quantity was tied up in a cloth 
and placed with the corn when the latter was half cooked. This 
is said to have been "strong stuff." It seems to have been some- 
what of the nature of an emergency food, or one used principally 
by poor people. Informants: David Jack and John Jamieson, 


Roots" of various wild and cultivated plants were evidently 
used extensively and a few, such as the wild potato, the arti- 
choke, and the pepper-root, are still eaten by some of the older 

The roots of the yellow pon'd-lily, Solomon's seal, the Indian 
turnip, and skunk cabbage are referred to as having been used 
in the Iroquois area, but have been practically forgotten by 
present-day Iroquois. 

' Used also by neighbouring Algonkin tribes, such as the Montagriais. 
See Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. VI, pp. 271, 273. 
» On., ukde'ha'. 

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The common potato, although a native to America,' was 
a comparatively recent introduction among the eastern wood- 
lands tribes, arriving there with the general adoption of Euro- 
pean products. The tubers of the Apios tuberosa axe. often re- 
ferred to as potatoes and are sometimes planted in suitable 
locations, though they are not, strictly speaking, cultivated. 
A couple of interesting old varieties of potatoes were obtained 
from Alexander Snider of Tonawanda. These are described in 
the list of roots appended. 

Crinkle root or pepper root, Dentaria diphylla, ikde'heks 
(On.): eaten raw with salt. Some boil them. A 
Mohawk recipe is to wash the roots and add vinegar. 

Also Dentaria laciniata, ukde'huwi (Ca.). 

Groundnut, or wild potato, Apios tuberosa, ho'nonda' (Ca.), 
unanu"gwa' (On.), gwehywene'ha' o"nena'da' (Mo., 
"Indian potato"). 

Burdock, Arctium Lappa, onpgwa^si'wane's (On.). The 
roots were dried by the fire, then stored away for 
winter use. To prepare them, they were soaked and 
boiled to a sort of soup. 

Claytonia, or spring beauty, Claytonia virginica, ganenu'- 
gQ'ta' (On.). 

Artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, unanu"gwa' (On.): used 
raw, boiled, or fried. 

Potato, Solanum tuberosum, hononda'g'wi (Ca., "old-fash- 
ioned potato"), ona'nq,'da' (Sen.). 

Two very old varieties of potato, cultivated by Alexander 
Snider, Seneca, of Tonawanda, were: the "Merino," a reddish- 
coloured potato, medium size, rather long and with deep eyes, 
Seneca name na'n^'des or "long potato"; the "horn" potato 
(Sen., onQ"gaa' ona'n^'da', or "horn potato"), small in size, 
elongated and tapering to one end, like a small horn; skin, dark 
purplish, considered to be especially suitable for baking. 

^ Sturtevant, Kitchen Garden Esculents, p. 542. 
De Candolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 49. 

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Plant (of any kind), odjigo"djia' (On.), awenu^gaa' (On.). 

Plant (growing in bush), ga'hagpha" awenu"gaa' (On.). 

Vine, u^'sts (On.). 

Bush, ohp'da' (On.). 

Sapling, uwenawg" (On.). 

Tree, nigaie'nda'sa' (On.), krai'et (Ca.). 

Large tree, gaiendowa'ne (On.). 

EDIBLE FUNGI {On., un&'sa'; Ca., unra'^sa'). 

A number of kinds of fungi are used by the Iroquois, and 
were probably employed even more extensively in former times. 
Among the kinds enumerated by informants were: 

Common mushroom, Agaricus campestris, una'sa' (On.), 
anahau'tra' (Ca., '.'hat" or "cap"), e'skan agohii"da' 
(Mo., "ghost's ears"). 
Morel, Morchella, several species, Uya'g^"da' (On., "penis"), 

ohQ'-da' (Ca., "ear"). 
Puflball, Lycoperdon giganteum and other species, duwatage- 
hanegq,us (Ca., "smoke shoots out"), o'tgij raona'daro 
(Mo., "devil's bread"), dewadi^e'gwae'gwas ona-'sa' 
(On., "smoking fungus"), deyutwi'no'ni's una'sa' (On. 
"round fungus"). 
John Jamieson, jun., stated that it is not a good thing to 
eat the puffball, as one will become jealous. The name he gave 
for the fungus was utsD"gwa' (On.). 

Polyporus fungi, various species, ^ unra"sa' (Ca.), una'sa' 
(On.). These were most commonly boiled, or used as an 
ingredient of soups. One informant stated that they were boiled 

' According to Chief Gibson, the edible Polyporus fungi are differentiated 
according to the kind of tree on which they grow. Those growing on maples 
are uhwa"da' una'sa'; on hickories, unanu'gaa una'sa'; on swamp oaks, 
ganawago'ha' una'sa'; on white oaks, ga^dag^'ada" una'sa'; on red oaks, 
gai'fdi' una'sa'. A Polyporus found growing on rotten pine stumps is called 
una'sa' ukdjinudo'nig netu" una'sudo'niQ ("fungus on rotten stump growing"), 
A number of the Polyporus fungi are edible, including P. frondosus, P. pini- 
cola, P. sulphureus. The last was described accurately by the same informant. 

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for a few minutes, then drained and boiled again until thoroughly 
done. At present they are frequently fried in butter and 
seasoned as required. 

Fried Mushroom — gandsage'i'da'wi' (On.). 

Bring a kettle of water to a boil, add the mushrooms (Poly- 
porus or other kinds), boil for ten or fifteen minutes, drain; 
then fry the mushrooms in butter or grease, with a little water 
added, seasoning as desired. The common mushroom and the 
puff ball are first peeled, then cooked as described. 

Mushroom Soup — una'sa' u'nega'gei' On.). 

Boil the mushrooms as described in the preceding recipe, 
drain, add more hot water and also some kind of meat, such as 
pork; boil until the meat is cooked. 


A considerable variety of edible nuts are met with throughout 
the Iroquois country and were not only eaten raw, but were 
also incorporated into other foods. At present they are usually 
cracked and eaten as a treat during the winter. 

The gathering of nuts was usually left to the women and 
children, who gathered the harvest after the frosts had brought 
it down. The hickory nut seems to have been the most widely 

The acorn was used quite commonly, probably more par- 
ticularly the sweet kinds, such as those of the white oak {Quercus 
alba), the chestnut oak {Quercus Prinus), and some others. 
Even the bitter acorns of the red and black oak were used in 
times of necessity, and also the nuts of the bitter hickory. The 
Hurons are said to have prepared them by "first boiling them in 
a lye made from ashes, in order to take from them their exces- 
sive bitterness."^ According to another writer "they (the 

> Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXV, p. 99. 

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Hurons) also make provision of acorns, which they boil in several 
waters to remove the bitterness, and consider them very good."' 
Nut-cracking outfits, consisting of a couple of rounded 
stones with pitted centres, were used in removing the shells. 
Many of the older people still remember these and a few speci- 
mens are occasionally found. 

Nuts Used by Iroquois: 

Hickory, Carya ovata, unanu'gaa (On., "shell bark"), 
onendoga'a' (Ca.). 

Bitter hickory, Carya cordiformis, oso"gwadji'wag4 (On., 

"bitter nut"), unpa'd^s (Ca.). 
Walnut, Juglans nigra, deyutsu"gwagwi"noni' (On., "round 

nut"), nyugwagwi'noni' (Ca.). 
Butternut, Juglans cinerea, ' sa'su^gwis or dju"so"gwts 

(On., "long nut"), uge'hwa' (Ca.). 
Hazelnut, common, Corylus americana, niyuhagwa'ha us- 

tu'tsha' (On.), uso'witra' (Ca.); beaked, Corylus 

rostrata, u'hts ustu'tsha' (On.). 
Beechnut, Fagus grandifolia, utsg^''^'- 
Chestnut, Castanea dentata, uheya''da' (On.), uhi'da' (Ca.). 

Swamp oak, Quercus bicolor, ganawagpha' u'su^gwa' 

White oak, Quercus alba, gai't'di' u*su''gwa' (On.), 
gaga'da' (Ca.). 

Red oak, Quercus rubra, go'wi' (Ca.). 

The Chestnut oak {Quercus Prinus) was probably 

Nuts Used in Bread-making. 

A Cayuga informant* stated that the older people used to 
crush the meats of the hickory, walnut, butternut, and chest- 

' Sagard, Voyages, vol. I, p. 97. 

' Wife of late Chief John Gibson, Grand River reservation. 

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nut, and mix them with the cornmeal for bread. Beans or ber- 
ries were also added in the usual way. Any kind of nut, except 
acorns, might be used. 

Nut-meat Gravy. 

The meats of the hickory, walnut, and several others, were 
pounded, boiled slowly in water, and the oil, skimmed off into 
a bowl. The oil was boiled again and seasoned with salt. This 
was used with bread, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, ' and other 

Nut-meat oil was often added to the mush used by the 
False-face Societies. The oil was also formerly used (like sun- 
flower oil) for the hair, either alone or mixed with bear's grease. 
Lafitau remarks that the mixture was used as a preventive of 

Nut-meat with Potatoes. 

The meats left after skimming off the oil were often seasoned 
and mixed with mashed potatoes. 

Nut-meats in Hominy and Corn Soup. 

Nut-meats were also crushed and added to hominy and corn 
soup to make it rich. This was described by several informants. 

That this method was common in the Iroquois area is sug- 
gested by Hariot, who states that "besides their eating of them 
after our ordinary maner, they breake them with stones and 
pound them in morters with water to make a milk which they 
use to put into some sorts of their spoonemeat; also among their 
sodden wheat, peaze, beanes and pompions which maketh 
them have a farre more pleasant taste." 

Other Terms {On.). 

Shuck (outer covering), o'kda'; also applied to the shell. 

Nut-meat, u'nie'e'. 

A spoiled meat, uhetg?"!'. 

An empty or shrivelled nut, odji'-sw^. 

Nutting-time, utci"sa"io'ne. 

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I shuck the nuts, wa'gekdu''tca'. 
I crack nuts, degatso"giaks. 
The nuts are ripe, utci'sa"i'. 
I gather nuts, kso"gwanQ'gw?'s. 


Berries and wild fruits generally have always been favourite 
aboriginal foods and were found in profusion in all parts of the 
Iroquois area. Bressani refers to the use by the Hurons of 
"strawberries, of two sorts; the blackberries, which grow on 
briars; the hazelnuts, and certain haws, and the wild plum. 
The walnuts have scarcely anything but the shell, and the cher- 
ries are no larger than a pea, — being little else than stone and 
skin, and very sour. There are some wild vines (grapes?), but 
in small quantity, nor are they esteemed by the Barbarians 
themselves; but do they esteem highly a certain fruit of violet 
colour, the size of a juniper berry (the blueberry?)"^ Le 
Jeune states, that "strawberries, raspberries and blackberries 
are to be found in almost incredible quantities. We gather 
plenty of grapes, which are fairly good."^ Among the fruits 
elsewhere referred to are the cranberry, mandrake, and pawpaw,' 
the latter being found in southern Ontario, New York state, 
and southward. 

Following the discovery, a number of European products 
were quickly adopted. The records of Sullivan's campaign of 
1779 repeatedly refer to the orchards of apple, peach, and other 
kinds of fruit trees found, cis well as to the general advancement 
of the Iroquois in horticulture. The pear and cultivated cherry 
were also introduced. 

Among the earliest berries to ripen is the strawberry, which 
is followed closely by the raspberry and others. These welcome 
events are celebrated by longhouse ceremonies in which thanks 
are given, while quantities of the fruit are eaten in the feasts 
which follow. 

> Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXVIII, p. 243. 
2 Ibid., vol. X, p. 103. 
•Ibid., vol. XLIII, p. 257. 

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A number of special utensils were connected with the col- 
lection and preservation of fruits. Small splint baskets for 
picking are attached to the waist in front by means of a cord 
passed through the handle (Plate XXXV, figs, c, d, e). The 
smaller baskets are then emptied into larger pack baskets lined 
with freshly-plucked basswood leaves (Plate XXXV, fig. f). 
Bark receptacles for picking were probably common formerly 

Figure 2. Berry picking basket of elm bark, used by Mrs. John Williams, 

(Fig. 2). As in the collection of many food materials, the pick- 
ing of berries was the women's and children's employment. 

Gooseberries were freed from prickles by tying them up 
in the skin of an animal, and later in an ordinary grain-bag. 
They were then rubbed until the prickles were broken off. 

Berries not required for immediate consumption are dried. 
This may be done in several ways. The fruit may be spread out 
just as it is upon boards or in flat evaporating baskets (Plate 
XXXV, figs, a, b), and dried in the sun or by the fire; or it 

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may be mashed and afterwards placed in small cakes upon large 
basswood leaves to dry. It may also be cooked and afterwards 
preserved in the manner just described. It is finally stored away 
in elm bark boxes or covered baskets. 

Bartram, in a journey to the Iroquois country, describes 
the drying of huckleberries as follows: "This is done by setting 
four forked sticks in the ground, about three or four feet high, 
then others across, over them the stalks of our common Jacea or 
Saratula, on these lie the berries, as malt is spread on the hair 
cloth over the kiln." Underneath this was kindled a "smoke 
fire."^ Kalm and other writers refer to similar methods.^ 

When wanted for use, the cakes of dried berries are soaked 
in warm water and cooked as a sauce, or mixed with corn bread. 
The dried berries were often taken along as a hunting food. 

Principal Varieties. 

Strawberry, Fragaria virginiana, uhydadeka^gwa' (On.), 

geniyuhijde'sha' (Mo.). 
Wood strawberry, Fragaria vesca, var. americana, uhg'dts 

uhjidadeka''gwa' (On., "tall strawberry"), dji'sQ'dak 

ganadowani'yu' (Ca., "strawberry, wild"). 
Red raspberry, Rubus idaeus var. aculeatissimus, una'- 

djiu^gwa' (On.), skanegwgdara'nq (Mo.). 
Black raspberry, Rubus occidentalis, ugahe'i'gwa' (On., 

"small pieces"), tQ'daktQ (Ca., "bushes leaning over"), 

or sw^'d^i niyu'yu'd^ (Ca., "black fruit"). 
Dwarf raspberry, Rubus triflorus, uhijdadeka"gwa' ogahe"- 

gwa' (On., "berry with big eyes"). 
Thimbleberry, Rubus canadensis, s*a«yis (On., "long fruit") 

sa'yezt' (Mo.), n^np (Ca.). 
Purple flowering raspberry, Rubus odoratus, go'danuwg'kwa' 

(On., "makes costive"); berry not considered edible; 

the root used as a remedy in diarrhoea. 
Wild gooseberry, Ribes, various species, tct'w^'dp'dQ' or 

utce'hw^'da* (On.). 

' Bartram, Observations, p. 73. 
2 Kalm, Travels, vol. II, p. 101. 

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Wild black currant, Ribes floridum, u'sg'da' skah''QskahQ' 

(On.), ona'daao'hi' (Mo.)- 

dju'ea'gak gQ'hiaks (On., "raccoon eats the berries"). 
Wild red currant, Ribes iriste, skahQ"skah9' utgw?"daa' 

(On., "currant, red"). 
Blueberry or huckleberry, early, Vaccinium pennsylvani- 

cum, also Gaylussacia baccata, uhia'dji' niyuhu'ndag- 

waha (On.). 
Late blueberry, V. corymbosum (?), uhia'dji' uhg'dis (On., 

"blueberry, tall"). 
Cranberry, V. oxycoccus and V. macrocarpon, ha"yuk 

Juneberry, Amelanchier canadensis, ga'a'dugk (On.), ha'- 

dugk (Ca.). 
Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, hu'sa'ha' (On.), ora'zi 

(Ca.), onaa'ra'ge'ha (Mo.). 
Nannyberry, Viburnum lentago, saiya"dis (On.), also called 

n^sdagw5''d5, according to one informant. 
Tree cranberry. Viburnum opulus, var. americana, n^s- 

dagw^"d5 (On.), djiginQistagw9"dg (Mo.). 
Wintergreen, GauUheria procumbens, diyynia'gas (On.). 
Partridge or squaw berry, Mitchella repens, noniagai'i'i' 

gQ'hiaks (On., "partridge eats it"), gwez^' gana"ias 

(Ca., "partridge eats it"), usai'sda' gQ'hiaks (On., 

"snake eats it"). 
Wild grape, Vitis vulpina, u"niQgwi''saa' (On.), gar'ragq'ha' 

o'na'han' (Mo.). 
Mulberry, Morus rubra, deyuderaha'kdp (Mo.). 
Wild red cherry, Prunus pennsylvanica, ganadjie"gwa' 

(On.) ; not commonly used. 
Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, nia'ta''da"ni' (On.) or 

yatadani, diagunia''ta's (Ca.), 

deyagonia'dawq-'iks (Mo.). 
Wild black cherry, Prunus serotina, e'i' (On.), engo'a (Mo.). 
Wild plum, Prunus americana, twi'sp' (On.) ; Prunus nigra, 

g^ha'ha (On.). 
Haws, Crataegus pruinosa, submolUs, and others, djigahe" 

dis or djigahe'disgo'na' (On., "for bread"), djuga'- 

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hi'des (Ca.), gana'daij'ni' (Ca. for one of the haws — 

probably C. punctata), o'ggwe- u''hia', or "man's berries" 

(Ca. for C. punctata}). 
Apple, Pyrus malus, sowahiyu'na' (On.), zewahio'wane 

deyuya^dzike'a (Mo., "the sweet apple"). 
Crab-apple, Pyrus coronaria, uhiadji'wag^ (On., "sour 


hiadjiawa'gQ (Ca.), 

diuwadj i'st^u (Ca. ) . 
Pear, Pyrus communis, utshe°da' u'hia' (On., "like a jug, 

Peach, Prunus persica, gQ'^hwai't' (On.). 
Pawpaw, Asimina triloba; southern Ontario, New York state, 

and southward. 
Mandrake, Podyphyllum peltatum, ugwa'e' (On.), oskp- 

wi'da' (On.), ungi'hyste' (Mo.), ganyu'u' ogwa'a' (Sen., 

wild orange). 
Ground cherry, Physalis, various species, dji'ha' u'hia' 

(On., "dog-berry"), gashe'w^dgta' (Sen., "bells"). 

Other Terms (Onondaga). 

Berry-bush, u'hia' uhg'da'. 

Blossoms, uw^'ha'. 

Prickles, uhwi'kda'. 

Berry-patch, wahiaye'ntwi". 

Dried berries, u'hia'ta wahiata''di'. 

Berry seeds, uhia udie'tsha'. 

Evaporating basket, uhiata"da'kwa' gaa''saa' (for drying 

berries, flat basket). 
Berries are ripe, un^' uhia'i*. 
I pick berries, wa'gahia'goa'. 
Plenty of berries, ywada'hio'ni' (Ca.). 

1 Among the various actions ascribed to "The Evil-Minded" (Oneida, 
Dawi'sga'l) is the creation of the crab-apple. See also Caswell, H. S., Our 
Life Among the Iroguois, p. 233. 

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It was stated by Alex. Snider, Tonawanda, that God' made 
the corn with plenty of oil in it. This was noticed by the Devil, 
who threw ashes over it, thus destroying the oily quality. Accord- 
ing to John Jamieson, sen., corn formerly produced all the 
year around. You could pluck off an ear and another would 
grow in its. place. The Devil, however, threw dirt on it and 
covered it over, so that it has only one season now and is not so 

Pines used to bear good-sized berries on the cones. The 
Devil looked at them and thought they were too good for the 
people, so he threw ashes on them and spoiled them. 

The Devil noticed that walnuts were very thin-shelled — 
in fact, had only a thin skin over them — and also possessed very 
large meats. He then threw ashes over them and made the 
shells hard and thick and the meats small. The last two items 
are also by John Jamieson, sen. 

A number of articles used in much the same way as chewing 
gum were mentioned by David Jack and John Jamieson, jun. 
These included: slippery-elm bark mixed with wheat; pitch 
from dead pines, mixed with beeswax; the bast or inner bark of 
the basswood; the buds of the basswood — ^which were said to 
keep one from being thirsty; the gum of the spruce (On., skan§"- 
d^s; Ca., gan?''d5s); the spongy tissue found in the teats of a 
female deer, a material which is said to last well and to have no 
unpleasant taste or odour. 


Lahontan remarks that "these Iroquois nations are very 
advantageously situated. They have a pleasant and fertile 
country; but they want roe-bucks and turkeys, as well as fish, 
of which their rivers are altogether destitute, insomuch that they 
are forced to fish in the lake, and to broil or dry their fish with a 

' "God" and the "Devil" no doubt refer here to the deities sometimes 
called the "Good-minded" and the "Evil-minded," or T'harQ'hiawa"-k"h(}' 
and Tawi'skarp' (names by Hewitt, Handbook of American Indians). 

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fire, in order to keep them and transport (Plates XXXVI and 
XXXVII) them to their villages. They are in like manner 
forced to range out of their territory, in quest of beaver, in the 
winter time, either towards Ganaraske, or to the sides of the lake 
of Toronto, or else towards the great river of the Outaouas."* 
The scarcity of meat or game in the Huron country is also fre- 
quently mentioned. 

A wide variety of animal foods was employed and in times 
of scarcity the list was no doubt considerably extended. Most of 
the smaller mammals, birds, amphibia, and even some of the 
reptilia, were eaten, also many of the mollusca, Crustacea, and 

Kinds Prohibited or Avoided. 

A number of more or less positive prohibitions or avoidances 
are found, though there seems to be no special connexion with 
totemic animals. For instance, the flesh of pregnant animals 
was stated by a Cayuga^ to be "no good" and to produce diarrhoea. 
Animals inhabiting graveyards should not be killed for food, or 
"bad luck" will result. The spirits of dead people were stated 
by the same informant to be in these animals. 

As in the case of other foods, a woman at the menstrual 
period is not allowed to touch meat intended for preservation or 
for general household purposes, otherwise it would spoil. A 
poisonous quality was also thought to be thus imparted to food. 

In trapping such animals as the mink or muskrat, the car- 
cass, after it has been skinned, must not be thrown upon the 
ground, or the animals will be offended and no longer allow them- 
selves to be taken. A Cayuga,' who furnished the information, 
was accustomed to place the bodies in the crotch of a small tree. 
The Relations and other early records refer to the fact that among 
the Iroquois and others the bones were not allowed to be thrown 
to the dogs, or non-success in hunting would result.* 

• Cf. also Charlevoix, Voyages, vol. Ill, p. 118. 

Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed, vol. LII, pp. 117, 119. 
*John Jamieson, jun. 
' John Jamieson, jun. 

* Jesuit Relations, Ri G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLIV, pp. 301, 303. 

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The porcupine {Erethizon dorsalis) is considered to possess 
special powers and sometimes receives the appellation of "witch." 
One which comes prowling around the hunter's camp should 
not be molested, as he brings news. A Seneca informant' 
states that he once shot one and afterward found out that a 
relative had died about that time. 

If you handle a star-nosed mole {Condylura cristata), with- 
out killing him, you will be afflicted with headache and nose- 
bleed. As a preventive, the hands should be washed at once.^ 

Some informants considered that those making a meal of 
turtle's meat would be a long time dying,' although the flesh 
was admitted to be good. The idea of sympathetic magic here 
involved is common. An Onondaga* was of the opinion that it 
was the heart only which should be avoided. It is said that the 
flesh was formerly eaten by warriors with a view to rendering 
them difficult to kill. 

The wood frog {Rana cantabrigensis) has certain peculiar 
powers attributed to it. If one rescues it from 'danger, such as 
from being swallowed by a snake, it will, according to an old 
Oneida, * afterwards assist its rescuer in time of trouble or danger. 
An exact counterpart of this item, though throwing no more light 
on the origin of the idea, is found in "Our Life among the Iro- 
quois," by Mrs. H. S. Caswell. The dried body of this frog 
is considered to possess a medicinal value. The tree-frog 
{Hyla versicolor) was said by an Onondaga to be a "witch." 
Deafness will result from hearing the cry of one of these 
animals which has been injured. 

No one, according to a Cayuga informant,* should molest 
the young of the night-hawk {Chordeiles virginiana), as the old 
one would swoop down upon him and deafen him by "booming' 
in his ears. 

^ Alex. Snider, Tonawanda, N.Y. 
' John Jamieson, jun. 

' The reflex movements after death continue for a long time in the turtle- 
— sometimes for several days. 

* Peter John, Brant County reserve. 
"Anthony Day, Oneidatown, Ontario. 
' John Jamieson, jun. 

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The flesh of the chickadee (Parus atracapillus), an extremely 
small bird, is popularly said, according to a Seneca informant,' 
to make any one eating it a liar. The saying is said to have 
originated in the story of a band of warriors who were refreshed 
upon the meat of a single chickadee when at the point of star- 

A number of birds and animals are, at least at present, con- 
sidered uneatable on account of their disagreeable flavour, or 
unpopular habits of feeding. 

Meat is absolutely prohibited when certain medicines are 
being administered, such as those possessed by the secret socie- 
ties. In some cases, after such prohibition, the first meat eaten 
must be white meat, such as that of a white chicken. 

Food which has been run over by mice, or by a small animal 
which seems to be the skink, Eumeces quinqueUneatus (On., 
utskai^di'), will cause the teeth to decay and produce vomiting 
of blood. Children are thought to be frequently killed in this 

Other Ceremonial Usages. 

Dog's* flesh was formerly consumed on special occasions and 
as a ceremonial observance. Dog feasts,* in fact, are said to 
have been offered to "Aireskoui," the Sun, who was also the god 
or "demon" of war, this observance securing success in war or 
hunting as well as the satisfactory interpretation of dreams and 
the recovery of the sick. The burning of the white dog at 
the Mid-winter Festival may be a survival of this. Stags and 
bears were sometimes offered in the same way. 

' Chief John Gibson. 

' One chickadee was formerly said to make meat enough for five or six. 
Informant, Peter John, On. 

'John Jamieson, jun. 

*Sagard, Voyages, vol. II, p. 215, remarks of the Huron dogs that they 
"howl rather than bark, and have straight ears like foxes; otherwise they are 
exactly like the medium-sized mongrels of the French villager. They serve 
instead of sheep, to be eaten at feasts, they harry the moose, and discover the 
lair of the beast, and are little expense to their masters." Regarding native 
dogs see Darwin, Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. I, pp. 20, 21. 

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Ceremonial cannibalism was evidently quite a common 
practice, the offering in this way of prisoners captured in war 
being considered particularly acceptable. In some instances, 
according to the Relations, the Sun was thought to be offended 
and to withhold his favour because they had been remiss in tor- 
turing and eating prisoners. Portions of the latter, such as the 
heart, the lips, and other parts were apparently eaten from a 
belief in sympathetic magic, or the ability to acquire the bravery 
or other virtues of an enenly.' 


The meat of the deer, bear, and the larger game animals is 
said to have been boiled, after which the water was changed, the 
meat subjected to another boiling, then removed from the pot, 
and fried in grease. The soup remaining was thickened with corn 
hulls or siftings. Whole corn was sometimes added instead. 

A common way of preparing meat was to broil it on pointed 
sticks. It was also dried on a sort of grating of sticks placed 
over a fire. The fat or tallow was kept for cooking purposes. 

The oil tried out in cooking the meat of bear, raccoon, 
porcupine, and other animals is kept and used for medicinal 
purposes, such as rubbing on the back and chest for "cramps" 
and for application to newly-born infants. Deer's tallow is 
particularly prized for certain purposes, such as for snow-snake 
"medicine," the principle involved being the familiar one of 
sympathetic magic. ^ 

Beaver was highly appreciated, especially the tail, the flesh 
of the animal being used both fresh and smoked.' 

Dried meat was sometimes boiled to soften it a little, after 
which it was placed in the mortar and pounded to a sort of hash, 
then boiled again, with the addition of grease and salt. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLI, p. 53, Le Mercier re 
Onondaga (1653-54). 

Ibid., vol. X, pp. 227, 229. 

Ibid., vol. XXVI, pp. 19 and 33, Vimont re Iroquois (1642-44). 
' John Jamieson, jun., David Jack, and others. 

' The use of beaver meat was described by a Seneca informant, Chief 
John Gibson. 

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The skunk, Mephitis mephifica, is still eaten, the meat being 
considered good for all kinds of ailments.' Other animals eaten 
are the woodchuck {Arctomys monax), the muskrat {Fiber 
zibethicus), rabbits, hares, and all kinds of squirrels.'' The 
carnivorae, generally, seem to have been avoided. 

Mice are said to have been used among the early Huron, 
though the description given is suggestive of the short-tailed 
vole {Microtus Pennsylvanicus) . 


Among the principal birds eaten are: wild ducks, geese, the 
larger owls, the partridge, quail, woodcock, snipe, plover, black- 
birds, woodpeckers, the robin, the meadow-lark, and the mourn- 
ing-dove. A number of others were no doubt utilized in case of 
necessity. Cranes are said by Loskiel to have been "seldom 
eaten." The loon was regarded as a "witch," and was conse- 
quently avoided. 

Owls are said to taste good. They are boiled until half 
done, then roasted. The oil is saved as a medicine. 

The wild turkey and pigeon were formerly found in Iroquois 
territory, but have now disappeared. 

Wild birds' eggs were frequently eaten, and included those 
of the partridge, quail, wild duck, plover, and many others. 
The young birds, just ready to hatch, are said to have been highly 
esteemed.^ The number of eggs in a partridge nest are said by 
John Jamieson, jun., to indicate how many years longer the finder 
will live. 

Batrachians and Reptiles. 

Frogs of several kinds were an article of diet,^ particularly 
the larger species, such as the bullfrog (Rana catesbiana) and the 
leopard frog (Rana pipiens). The legs were skinned, broiled on 
pointed sticks, then salted and eaten. 

' David Jack (Ca.). 

' John Jamieson, jun., says that he has often killed squirrels, which are 
liked by the pigmies. He then offered tobacco to the latter and asked them 
for luck in hunting or other such occupations. The squirrel's body was then 
left upon the ground or hung up in a tree. 

' Jesuit Relations, vol. XLIV, p. 299. 

* Ibid., vol. XXXIX, p. 215. 

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The wood frog {Rana cantabrigensis) was stated by an 
Oneida^ to be eaten whole. It was formerly made into a soup, 
though the informant preferred it fried in butter. The bodies 
are dried and made into a broth, which is used medicinally. 
Other small frogs were probably also employed. 

Snakes were said by several informants to have been used in 
former times, though this was denied by others. Charlevois 
refers to the use of the rattlesnake by certain tribes, possibly 
including the Hurons. The meat was cooked "like fish."^ 

Turtles and turtle eggs were employed quite generally, and 
included such species as the snapping- turtle {Chelydra serpentina), 
the painted turtle {Chrysemys picta), and the wood turtle 
{Clemys insculptus). 

Turtle's meat was said by Chief Gibson to be "good medi- 
cine" made into either a soup or stew. The broth is considered 
to be good for throat troubles, or for newly-born children. 


Fish were everywhere a favourite food (Plates XXXVIII 
and XXXIX), although, as in the case of other game, the supply 
was often limited.' Nearly all kinds were eaten and formed a 
common ingredient of hominy, corn soup, and other preparations. 
Even the intestines were utilized in former times, though not at 
present, this economy having been practised when the fish were 
being preserved for winter use.' Reference has been made else- 
where to decayed salmon as an ingredient of soups. 

Eels were smoked or dried and used like fish. Mention is 
frequently made to these in the Relations and the accounts of 
early writers generally. During Bartram's visit to Onondaga, 
for instance, his entertainers provided "great kettles of Indian 
corn soup, or thin hominy, with dried eels and other fish boiled 
in it."* According to this writer, also, "they cut a stick about 

' Anthony Day. 

' Charlevoix, Voyages, pp. 125 and 209, vol. III. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XXXIX, p. 215. 

* Martin, Life of Jogues, ed. by J. G. Shea, p. 123. 

' Bartram, Observations, p. 60. 

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three feet long, and as thick as one's thumb ; they split it about 
a foot down, and, when the eel is gutted, they coil it between the 
two sides of the stick, and bind the top close which keeps the 
eel flat, and then stick one end in the ground before a good fire."* 
Boiled Fish. A very simple method was to boil the fish until 
tender, adding salt to suit the taste. 

Fish Soup — u'nega'gei' (On.). Fish of any kind is boiled 
in a pot with a quantity of water. It is then removed and coarse 
corn siftings stirred in to make a soup of a suitable consistency. 

Fish and Potato Soup. When potatoes are boiled, spread 
the fish out on top, cover with a lid and cook. When done, re- 
move the fish and add salt and pepper. 

Fried Fish. Fish are sometimes fried in bear or deer grease, 
salt and pepper being added. Among the kinds mentioned as 
being best were some of the smaller ones, such as the stone- 
carriers {Exoglossum maxillingua) and the sticklebacks {Gasteros- 
teus bispinosus and Eucalia inconstans) . 

Eels are usually fried. No grease is added, but just a little 
water. Sturgeon is cooked in the same way, or made the basis 
of corn soup, as previously stated. 

Roasted Fish. The fish is cleaned and stretched open by 
inserting a couple of small sticks. It is then impaled on another 
sharp stick, which is stuck in the ground before an open fire. 
The fish is salted before roasting. 

Dried Fish. To preserve fish, cut and clean them, rub well 
with salt and dry in the sun or over a fire, then place in a bark 
box or other receptacle. 

Another method is to roast in front of the fire, then hang in 
the smoke from an open fire-place. 

Additional terms {On.). 

Fish, udjiii'da'. 

The tail, uda"sa'. 

Fins, una^wi'na'. 

Scales, u'sda'. 

Dried fish, ga^djigda'tha'di'. 

1 Ibid., p. 33. 

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Smoked fish, gai^'gwai'kdi'. 
Roast fish, ga's^'yuda'. 
Fried fish, g^djiQ'dag^'i'dawi'. 
Boiled fish, g4djiQ*du''gwa'. 
To clean fish, gaygwada^gu^. 
To remove the scales, g^sd^^di'. 


The only crustaceans eaten by the Iroquois were the cray- 
fish (belonging to the genus Cambarus). These have very little 
meat upon them and are seldom bothered with at present. The 
Onondaga name, udjie'ie', signifies "feet that pinch." 

Cooking Recipes. According to one recipe, furnished by 
Chief Gibson, the tails only are used. These are skinned and 
fried in butter or grease. 

Crayfish may also be boiled to make a soup, salt and other 
seasoning being added. Another method is to make a stew of 
wild onions or leeks, add the crayfish, also butter, pepper, and 

A simpler way is to salt the crustaceans, impale them on 
pointed sticks, plant one end of the stick in the ground, and 
roast them before an open fire. 

Still another way was to place them whole under the hot 
ashes or cinders, then cut them open along the back and eat them. 

Insect Foods. 

Information was obtained regarding several insect foods, 
and it is evident from historical records that a number of others 
were employed. 

Ants of various species are said, by an Onondaga informant,' 
to have been eaten raw on account of the acid flavour, though 
more as a luxury than as a staple. 

At Onondaga Castle, N.Y.,' the larvae of the seventeen- 
year locust {Cicada septendecim) were formerly ploughed or dug 

• Peter John and others. 

' Baptist Thomas, informant. 

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up and roasted in a pot, without water. They were stirred while 
cooking and, when they were thoroughly done, a little grease 
was added. Some of the older people are said to make use of 
them still. They are considered to be "good for the health." 
An Onondaga name given was ogw^yu^da'.' 

Historical Mention. Mention is frequently made by various 
writers of insect foods. Loskiel, in describing the foods of the 
Iroquois and the Delaware, refers to locusts, although the use of 
the popular name leaves us in doubt as to whether the grasshopper 
or the cicada is meant.' 

Du Perron, in the Relation of 1638-39, mentions the prepara- 
tion by the Hurons of "a porridge made of the mealof Indian 
corn and water. . . . Sometimes the savages put in pieces 
of cinders, to season the sagamitd, at other times a handful of 
little waterflies, which are like the gnats of Provence; they 
esteem these highly and make feasts of them."' 

Brickell, "Natural History of North Carolina," records the 
use of "young wasps" among the tribes of that area. 

Sagard, also, was "much disgusted and disturbed to see the 
Huron women eat the lice from themselves and their children; 
for they ate them as if they were both good and tasty."* The 
Montagnais practised a similar custom, stating that it was "not 
that they liked the taste of them, but because they want to bite 
those that bite them."' 


The various species of clams seem always to have been 
favourite articles of food among the Iroquois. This is borne out 
by the archaeological evidence found on village sites identified 
as Iroquoian.* The genera include Anodonta, Unio, and Mar- 
garitana. A Cayuga name given was ga'nu'sa'. The same name 
is applied to oysters. 

1 Informant, Baptist Thomas, Onondaga Castle, N.Y. 
' Loskiel, Hist, of Mission, pt. I, p. 66. 

• Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 163. 

• Sagard, Voyages, vol. I, p. 76. 

' Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. VI, p. 245. 

• Wintemberg, W. J., The Use of Shells by the Ontario Indians, Ont. 
Arch. Rep., 1907, pp. 38, 39. 

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The bivalves are boiled and made into soup. Milk, salt, and 
butter are frequently added. 

Another method of cooking, according to Chief Gibson, is 
to fry them in butter or grease. 

Various land and water gasteropoda were no doubt em- 
ployed, particularly in times of scarcity. An Onondaga name 
for water gasteropods is dji's^w^ (brains). This is also applied 
to the slugs or shell-less snails. An Onondaga name for shell- 
bearing gasteropoda is ungsage^dt' (they carry a house). A 
Cayuga term is dri'drp'wa' (having horns). 

Among the historical references to this class of foods is one 
by Loskiel, who mentions the employment of "mussels and oy- 

Brickell also remarks of these that "they are only made use of 
by the Indians, who eat them after five or six hours boiling to 
make them tender."^ According to the same writer, certain 
kinds were preserved by drying.' 


Maple Syrup and Sugar. 

The sap of the maple, birch, and several other trees was 
employed prehistorically. Besides its use as a beverage, it was 
boiled and thickened somewhat, though its manufacture into 
sugar must have been exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, 
with the crude utensils at hand. 

References to the employment of sap are found in several of 
the earlier Relations. Nouvel, for instance, refers to a "liquor 
that runs from the trees toward the end of Winter, and which 
is known as 'Maple-water.' "^ This was written in 1671, and 
refers to the Ottawas of Ekaentouton. Le Jeune, in 1634, 
observed that the Montagnais, when pressed by famine, eat 
"the shavings or bark of a certain tree, which they call Michtan, 
which they split in the Spring to get from it a juice, sweet as 

' Loskiel, History, pt. I, p. 66. 

2 Brickell, History of North Carolina, p. 249. 

•Ibid., pp. 288, 367. 

< Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. LVI, p. 101. 

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honey or as sugar; . . . but they do not enjoy much of it, 
so scanty is the flow." Neither of the foregoing refer to sugar, 
mention of which occurs only in later records. 

Carr, with regard to sugar-making, considers that "As to 
the maple sugar . . . there can be no doubt. It was made where- 
ever the tree grew, and it found especial favour as an ingredient 
in their preparation of parched corn-meal, or as we call it, nocake 
or rockahominy."^ Charlevoix, on the other hand, states that 
the Abnaki, "when the sap begins to rise . . . make a Jag or 
Notch in the Trunk of the Maple, and by Means of a Bit of 
Wood which they fix in it, the Water runs as by a Spout. . . . 
It is certain that they did not know how to make a Sugar of it, 
which we have since taught them. They were contented to let 
it boil a little, to thicken it something, and make a Sort of Syrup."* 
The latter observation seems to have been true throughout 
the area occupied by the Iroquois and their neighbours, although, 
with improved utensils, the making of sugar was quickly adopted. 

Methods, within the historical period, appear to have 
changed but little. Loskiel refers to the use of a "funnel made 
of bark" which was used to convey the sap into "wooden troughs 
or dishes." Basswood chips for spiles and wooden troughs are 
still employed by some of the Iroquois (Plate X). Troughs 
were also made of elm bark. A Cayuga informant' states 
that an old-time method of tapping was by breaking the end 
of a limb. 

The sugar-moulds described by Loskiel were "broad, wooden 
dishes of about two inches in depth." The crystallizing syrup 
was "stirred about in these until cold." The sugar was also 
allowed to crystallize in the kettles.* A model of a box-like 
mould, held together by wooden clamps, was made for the 
writer by one of the older Onondaga.' According to the latter, 
the sugar was also run into small tin pans, forming cakes of a 
certain weight. 

'■ Carr, Food of Certain American Indians. 

2 Charlevoix, A Voyage to North America, vol. I, p. 83. 

' John Jamieson, jun. 

'Loskiel, History, pt. I, pp. 72, 73. 

' Peter John. 

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The sap was stored, in preparation for boiling, in a large 
wooden trough formed by hollowing out the trunk of a tree. 

The hard or sugar maple {Acer saccharinum) was considered 
best, although the soft maple {Acer saccharum) and the birch 
were also used. Besides its food use, the sap of the soft maple is 
considered valuable for sore eyes. It was stated by a Cayuga' 
that hickory chips were sometimes boiled to obtain a "sweet 
water," which was added to corn to make corn soup. According 
to Charlevoix, the Abenaki also employed the sap of the plant or 
buttonwood, the ash, walnut trees of different sorts, and the 
wild cherry.'' Walnut sap is said to have been very sweet, 
though the sugar made from the wild cherry is said never to have 
lost its bitterness. The use of "les Noyers," or nut-bearing 
trees, and the ash is confirmed by Lafitau, who remarks that the 
sap of the ash, though delicate, was scanty in flow.' 

Terms used {Onondaga). 

Bark pot, ga'SQ''da' gana'djia'. 

Sap trough, niga'hQ'wa'sa" g'gaieda'kwa'. 

Sap, uwenowe'da'gei' (sweet juice), or wa'gae'da'. 

Maple syrup, ohwa^da' use'sda'. 

Maple sugar, ohwa"da' uwenow^'da' (or simply, uwe- 

Spile, Q'gaieda'kwa' o'ga'e' (to stick in, chip). 
Gash made in the tree, ga'o". 
Sugar mould, eanaw§'daa'kwa' gahQ''saa' (to put sugar in, 

box or trough). 
Wooden storage trough for sap, t'negaa'kwa'. 
The sap is running, ga'ne'gu's. 
He is gathering the sap, hane'gai'ets. 
He is boiling the sap, hoyaha"dg'. 
They are boiling the sap, diuya'h^s. 
He is making sugar, hainaw^'do'niaha'. 
He is tapping the trees, ha'gaie'tha' (putting chips in the 


' John Jamieson, jun. 

' Charlevoix, A Voyage to North America, pt. I, p. 84. 

' Lafitau, Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriguains, pt. II, pp. 155, 156. 

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The tree is tapped, wa'ga'e'da'. 

It is ready for sugaring, gondihe'do'niugk one (it is making 
bubbles of steam). 

Season for sugar-making, undanada'sania^ta' (fixing up the 
sugar camp). 


The honey-bee {,Apis mellifica) was a European importation. 
Kalm, who visited the Iroquois country in 1748-50, remarks 
that "the Indians likewise generally declare, that their fathers 
had never seen any bees either in the woods or anywhere 
else, before the Europeans had been several years settled here. 
This is further confirmed by the name which the Indians give 
them: . . . they call them English flies. . . . They 
have not yet been found in the woods on the other side of the 
Blue Mountains, which confirms the opinion of their being brought 
to America of late."* 

The honey used was principally that derived from escaped 
swarms, while the methods employed in locating these resemble 
those of the white settlers. 

Bees in the act of swarming are stopped by throwing water 
upon them, or shooting near them. 

When a bee-tree is chopped down, a little honey is left for 
the bees in order to secure "good luck;" otherwise a man is liable 
to have his game stolen by other animals, or to meet with other 

The honey is cleared of dirt and leaves by hanging it up in 
a cotton bag to drain. Besides its use as a food, the honey is 
considered medicinal. 

A remedy for bee stings is to obtain some clover leaves, mash 
them a little, and apply as a poultice. This appears to contain 
the idea of sympathetic magic, the clover being the favourite 
resort of bees. 

* Kalm, Travels, vol. I, p. 288. 

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Some Onondaga Terms. 

Honey-bee, gpdianaw^donia'ha' (making honey or sweet 

Bumble bee, na'ggda'gwa'ne'gona (big bee). 
Honey, use'sda'. 


Water was naturally the most common beverage. The 
sites of villages everywhere are found to be in proximity to some 
sort of water supply. Sometimes this was in the form of springs, 
or spring creeks, rivers, or even pondholes or ditches, sources 
which are still more or less in favour in many localities. 

When a red blood-sucker or leech (On., djiagwai'c'nt* 
utgw?"da' nigaia'do''d^') is seen in the water, the latter is 
not considered fit for drinking. The people are warned 
by the longhouse preachers against water contaminated in this 
way and are told that it will cause them to waste away and die.* 

Palisaded villages were frequently constructed so as to 
provide a water supply, though the unfortunate results of neglect 
in this respect were at times experienced. 

One of the most easily prepared beverages was probably 
that noted by Loskiel, who remarks that "the common drink of 
the Indians at their meals is nothing but the broth of the meat 
they have boiled, or spring water. "^ He also observed that they 
"prepare a kind of liquor of dried bilberries, sugar and water, 
the taste of which is very agreeable to them." These were 
probably some one of several species of Vaccinium or blueberry, 
although the name is sometimes popularly applied to the june- 
berry, Amelanchier canadensis, and related species. The water 
in which corn bread is boiled is likewise preserved for drinking 

• John Echo and others, Grand River reserve. 

^ Loskiel, Hist, of the Mission of the United Brethren, pt. I, p. 74. 

' A Seneca name given by Parker is O'niyustagi'. N. Y. State Mus. Bull., 
144, p. 71; cf. also Beverly, Hist, and Present State of Virginia, p. 151. 

Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 159: "The usual sauce 
with the food is pure water, juice of corn or of squashes." 

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Berries were evidently quite frequently used in the prepara- 
tion of drinks. These were not only noted historically, but are 
popular at present. Blackberries or thimbleberries and water, 
sweetened with maple sugar, is common both for home consump- 
tion and in longhouse ceremonies. This drink was called uhia'- 
get' (On.). The fresh berries are preferred when these are ob- 
tainable, though they are also dried or otherwise preserved and 
enjoyed throughout the winter. This drink is employed as a 
refreshment at the meetings called hadi'hi'dus and the making 
of niga'ne'gaa' medicine, as are also similar concoctions of straw- 
berries and raspberries at their respective festivals. At certain 
of these functions the juice is sometimes sprayed from the mouth 
upon the heads of those desiring health and prosperity for the 
coming season.^ In such cases the liquid must be made by those 
undergoing the ceremony. Huckleberries may be used for the 
same purpose. Fresh blackberries are particularly sought after 
for the Big Green Corn Dance in the early autumn. The drinkers 
in each case make an effort to get a share of the berries which 
settle to the bottom. An active medicinal value, aside from 
ceremonial uses, is ascribed to several varieties of berries and 
other fruits or to beverages made from them. 

Corn coffee, made after the following method, is a well- 
known Iroquois beverage; whole ears of corn are dried, then 
placed on the coals and turned carefully until they roast. These 
are placed in a kettle of water and boiled. Sugar may be added 
if desired, also buttermilk or ordinary milk. A name applied to 
this by Chief Gibson is gan^hage^'da-'wi" d^yptnegQ'd^', mean- 
ing "roasted corn to make a drink." 

A sunflower coffee is said, by the same informant, to have 
been made by roasting sunflower seeds, grinding them a little 
in the mortar, sifting, and saving the shells. Boiling water 
poured over the latter is said to make a beverage tasting just 
like coffee. This was called q,yeditsha-'nia' (On.). 

A so-called coffee was also stated to be sometimes made from 
the wild plum, g^ha'ha. The plums are cut along one side, the 
stones removed, and the fruit dried on boards or in evaporating 

> Boyle, Dr., Ont. Arch. Rep., 1898, p. 140. 

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baskets in the sun. The beverage is made by adding boiling 
water to the dried fruit and is called d^yytne'gQd^:' (On.)- 

The sweet juice derived from the stalks of corn is frequently 
mentioned by the early writers. Loskiel states with regard to 
this that the cornstalk "when unripe, is full of a sweet juice like 
sugar. "^ Some of the older people still remember when sections 
of cornstalk were cut and chewed as a means of allaying thirst. 

Another coffee-like concoction, evidently known in Loskiel's 
time, was made from chestnuts. "Sometimes they are roasted 
like coffee-beans, and a kind of beverage made of them, nearly 
resembling coffee in color and taste, but of a laxative nature."* 

Hickory nuts, still plentiful throughout the Iroquois country, 
formed the basis of a savory beverage. The writer previously 
quoted observes that "the Indians gather a great quantity of 
sweet hiccory nuts, which grow in great plenty in some years, 
and not only eat them raw, but extract a milky juice from 
them, which tastes well and is nourishing."' 

A drink which was always welcomed in its appropriate sea- 
son was the juice of the maple and sometimes of the birch.* 
All that was necessary was a rough incision in the bark or the 
broken end of an overhanging limb, with a dish of bark or wood 
to catch the liquid. Lafitau mentions, among sources of sugar 
or sap other than the maple, "les Noyers," members of the 
hickory and walnut family, whose juice, however, would seem 
to have been too strongly medicinal to have been generally in 

Maple sap is said to have been sometimes fermented and, 
used as an intoxicant, though its use could never have been st,V 
all common. This sometimes turned to a vinegar, which was 

1 Loskiel, pt. I, p. 67. 

2 Ibid., p. 70. 

"Ibid., p. 71; cf. also Smith, Map of Virginia, 1612, p. 12. 

* Hunter, J. D., Memoirs (London, 1824), p. 415. 

' Williams, Roger, Key, p. 90: "Beere" drink is mentioned. This was 
made by the English settlers from the chips of the walnut, the idea probably ' 
being borrowed from the Indians. The drink was said to taste good and to be 
mildly laxative. 

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also consumed.* The fermentation of sweet liquids and fruit 
juices takes place so readily that the discovery could not have 
been readily avoided. The chief difficulty seems to have been 
in the lack of receptacles for keeping the beverages. In Pinker- 
ton's voyages we find the assertion with regard to certain tribes 
inhabiting Virginia, not far from the Island of Roanoke, that 
"their drink is only water, but while the grape lasteth they drink 
wine, and for want of casks to keep it, all the year after they 
drink water, but it's sodden with ginger in it and black cinnamon, 
and sometimes sassafras, and divers other wholesome and medi- 
cinal herbs and trees."^ 

That wine-making was not an Iroquois custom is indicated 
by Lafitau, who observed that, "the grape is found in all parts of 
America; but it was nowhere cultivated by the savages, nor did 
they know the secret of making wine."' Sagard remarks the 
same of the Hurons.* Wine of wild grapes was given by a Caugh- 
nawaga informant^ as an ingredient in a medical prescription 
for bloodlessness, though there is nothing to indicate any ancient 
origin.* Mohawk names for the wild grape are gar'sagyha' 
or o'ngt'hart'. 

Infusions of the leaves, roots, twigs, bark, or flowers of 
certain plants and trees were frequently employed and quite a 
number of the older people still remember their use. One of the 
best lists was furnished by Mrs. John Williams (Mo.), Caugh- 

Hemlock, ong'da'ijwt'. Take the leaves, steep, sweeten 
with maple sugar, and eat with corn bread or at meals. Other 
names are gan^'d^s (Ca.), san4da''ta' (Ca.), wana'djy'ni' (Mo.). 

' Fermented sap is called in Onondaga, gawi'shi' uwcnaw^'da'get'. Vine- 
gar is deyu'nega"hiyu"djis. 

• Pinkerton, Voyages and Travels, vol. 12, p. 568. 
» Lafitau, Moears, vol. I, p. 112. 

• Sagard-Theodat, Voyage, vol. I, p. 71. 
Hunter, J. D., Memoirs (London, 1824), p. 261. 

' Mrs. Katie Dybeau. 

• Lawson (per Brickell), Nat. Hist, of N. Carolina, p. 291 : "Neither were 
they acquainted with any kind of intoxicating liquors before the arrival of 
Christians." These were neighbours of the Iroquois. 

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Black or sweet birch {Betula lento), djo'djoTg. The twigs 
from the small growth are taken, made into a small bundle, and 

Sassafras, a'tsdas, was widely used. A tea was made of the 
roots. This was frequently employed at weddings on account 
of its agreeable odour. Loskiel states that sassafras "flowers 
serve for tea."^ The tree was also highly valued for its medi- 
cinal virtues. A Cayuga name is wa'a'nagras. This is rendered 
in Onondaga as u'gjia'gas. A Cayuga name by J. Hess is 

Spicewood, dawaasery'ni, furnished its sweet-smelling twigs 
and branches which were cut up and steeped. Cayuga and 
Seneca names are dewatai'nias and da"dia's. 

The wintergreen, dzo'dzo'rqtsera'geras (Mo.).^ was in- 
cluded. The leaves of this were steeped. It is called in Onon- 
daga una''dad5's. 

Yarrow, deyohuda^sg, a plant which, like all the others named 
was used for medicine, or as a medicinal ingredient, formed 
a very agreeable drink when an infusion of suitable strength 
was made. Yarrow was also called aro'zg oda''sy, or squirrel 
tail. Onondaga names given are un§"da' and ga's^hayenda'- 
kwa' (looking like frosty or cold weather). 

Witch-hazel, dagwa'a'dro'ni' (Ca.) was stated by Chief 
David Jack to be made into a decoction of suitable strength, 
sweetened with maple sugar and used as a tea at meals. 

The young twigs of red raspberry, gwa"dan§' (Sen.), accord- 
ing to Barber Black, Tonawanda, N.Y., were stripped of the 
leaves, placed in hot water and steeped, then sweetened with 
sugar in the usual way. 

Sumac seed clusters seem also to have been boiled, during 
the autumn and winter, as a beverage. It is probable that in- 
fusions of many other materials, including various edible roots, 
and forming broths or soups, with more or less of a food value. 

'Loskiel, pt. I, p. 115. 

Hunter, J. D., Memoirs (London, 1824), p. 420. 
' This means, "It smells like black birch." 

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were used from time to time.' A suggestion of this is found in 
the use by the Abenaki of the juice from the bruised roots of the 
cat-tail and other plants. A variety of names are given for 
sumac: utgo"da' (On. and Mo.), na'ju'k (Ca.), utgodago'a 
(Ca.), dji'tgwa niuha'do'd^ (Ca.), dara'gwi (Mo.). 

Monarda, horse-mint, or Oswego tea, as it is variously called, 
Monarda fistulosa, represented the mint family, which suggests 
that other mints may also have been pressed into service. Among 
the more suitable for the purpose would be the peppermint, 
spearmint, pennyroyal, and others. A Cayuga name for mon- 
arda is ganu'da'. 

Even urine seems to have been used in cases of necessity, 
such as forced marches. Seaver, for instance, notes that it was 
offered to captives. According to the Relations, it was also 
administered at times as a medicine. 

It seems somewhat surprising that corn was not fermented. 
The Zunis, for instance, prepare a drink from sprouted corn. 
This is claimed to be non-intoxicating. A drink is also made of 
pop-corn, "ground in the finest mill. The powder is put into a 
bowl and cold water is poured over it. The mixture is strained 
before it is drunk. This beverage is also used in ceremonies and 
during fasts of the rain priests."^ An Iroquois food-drink 
resembling the latter was made by parching corn, grinding it to 
a flour in the wooden mortar, and mixing it with maple sugar. 
This was uped as a hunting or travelling food. A small wooden 
dish was carried along and a. small quantity of the flour mixed 
with cold water and drunk as required. According to Thomas 
Key (On.), a small cup was used for this purpose by the hunter. 

' Slippery elm inner bark is often made into a mucilaginous decoction, 
considered to have a food as well as a medicinal value. This was no doubt 
familiar to the Iroquois. 

' Stevenson, M. C, The Zuni Indians, 23rd Ann. Rep. B. A. E., p. 369. 

Adair describes a drink made of "their flinty corn," though in this case, 

after pounding and sifting, they boiled the meal in large earthen pots, then 

strained off the thinnest part, and diluted it with water for drinking. Hist. 

of the North American Indians, p. 416. 

In the Second Voyage of Sir John Hawkins, 1564, it is remarked of corn 
meal that "it maketh also good beverage, sodden in water, and nourishable." 
Hakluyut, Voyages, p. 46. 

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so that it would not cover his eyes, and no one else was allowed 
to drink from the same cup. A drink of the mixture was taken 
immediately upon leaving home. 

The fresh blood of slaughtered animals was employed as a 
food or drink by a number of aboriginal races, but does not 
seem, aside from the alleged use of the blood of captives taken 
in war,i to have been particularly favoured by the Iroquois. 

Grease, both in a solid and liquid condition, as well as 
various animal oils, were probably quite widely used. Historical 
references to their consumption by the Iroquois are found in the 
accounts of the early missionaries and others.^ 

The ability of the Indians to go without food or drink for 
long periods has been frequently remarked. Du Peron states of 
the Hurons that "as for drinks, they do not know what they are, 
— the sagamit6 serving as meat and drink; when not on their 
journeys, they will go six months without drinking."' 


Salt was evidently adopted principally during the later 
historical period. Loskiel describes the Iroquois attitude 
towards salt by stating that "neither the Iroquois, Delaware, 
nor any in connexion with them, eat their meat raw, but fre- 
quently without salt, though they have it in abundance."* 
The fact that several old-time foods, such as corn bread, corn 
and bean soup, etc., are made without salt would also indicate 
that the usage is modern. 

The existence of salt in New York state and in several 
places in western Ontario from Kincardine to Sarnia suggests 
that a special reason existed for its omission by the Iroquois. 
Historical references are unanimous in stating that salt was 
seldom or never used by nearly all the eastern Indians at or 

> Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLIV, p. 55. 

' Ibid., vol. XLII, p. 65: Iroquois drink bear's grease. Cf. also Bartram, 
Observations, p. 25. 

» Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 163. Cf. also Chau- 
monot, Autobiographie, p. 56: 'La soif ne se fait jamais senti, parceque nous 
ne mangeons rien de sale, et que la nourriture est toujours trfes liquide." 

* Loskiel, Hist, of the Mission of the United Brethren, pt. I, p. 65. 

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immediately following the discovery. Cartier noted of the 
Indians met by him that "their entire living is without a taste 
of salt."'' Charlevoix, Chaumonot, Carver, Jogues, Champlain, 
and various writers in the Relations refer to this apparent aver- 
sion to salt, both among the Iroquois and among the Algonkin 
tribes to the north and east of them. 

Hoffman remarks that "Salt is not used by the Menomini 
during meals, neither does it appear to have a place in the kitchen 
for cooking or baking. Maple syrup is used instead, and it is 
singular how soon one may acquire the taste for this substitute 
for salt, even on meats."'' Lafitau and others comment on the 
use of maple syrup and sugar in cookery.^ The fact that no 
salt was used by the Montagnais is repeated again and again 
in the Relations. 

The Mandans were found by Catlin to be non-users of salt, 
though their country abounded in the material.* Other Siouan 
tribes, such as the Omaha, collected the mineral for use. The 
Shawnee, unlike their more northern relatives, were famed 
as salt-makers. 

A desire for some saline material was shown by certain 
tribes. The Cherokee, an Iroquoian tribe residing to the south- 
west, used lye, and salt is even yet seldom employed by the eastern 
division of the tribe. Beverly writes regarding the Indians of 
Virginia, that "they have no Salt among them, but for seasoning, 
used the Ashes of Hiccory, Stickweed, or some other Wood or 
Plant, affording a Salt ash."^ Hariot also reports that "there is 
an hearbe which in Dutch is called Melden. Some of those that 
I describe it unto, take it to be a kind of Orage; it groweth about 
foure or five foote high: of the seede thereof they make a thick 
broth, and pottage of a very good taste: of the stalks by burning 
into ashes they make a kind of salt earth, wherewithall many use 
sometimes to season their brothes; other salte they knowe not."' 

1 Cartier, Bref RScit, p. 25. 

2 Hoffman, W. J., The Menomini Indians, 14th Ann. Rep. B.A.E., p. 286. 
' Lafitau, Moeurs, vol. II, p. 157. 

* Catlin, G., Letters and Notes, pp. 124, 125. 

'Beverly, The History and Present State of Virginia, vol. Ill, p. 15. 
° Hariot, A briefe and true report. Cf. also Lawson, Nat. Hist, of North 
Carolina (per Brickell), p. 401 and p. 340. 

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The Hurons, according to the Relations, sometimes "put in 
pieces of cinders, to season the sagamit^,"' and used "no salt 
or other condiment" of this nature. 

A possible explanation of the Iroquois non-use of salt may 
be, as suggested by Beauchamp, that their original habitat was 
in some area where salt was not readily obtained.'' Some weight 
is added to this by the fact that neither the Eskimo nor the 
northern Algonkins favoured its use. The objections are still 
advanced by some of the older men on the various reservations 
that physical deterioration generally and such ailments as decay 
of the teeth and other complaints result from eating salt. 

The Iroquois, in fact, seem to have retained this attitude as 
late as 1654. Marie de 1' Incarnation, for instcuice, relates that 
the Iroquois supposed the water of a certain salt spring to be 
poison and thought that it was by a miracle that the French 
obtained salt from the water.' This is confirmed by an obser- 
vation of the missionary le Moine that the Onondagas dared not 
drink of a salt spring which he visited, holding that there was 
an evil spirit in it which rendered it foul.* 

The gradual adoption of salt is noted by a number of early 
writers. Even the Montagna,is began eventually to use it, and 
the decreasing prejudice of the Iroquois is remarked by Conrad 
Weiser, who, about the year 1737, went with his host to see a 
salt spring from which the Indians boiled "handsome salt for 

A later adaptation of the use of salt is probably to be found 
in certain medicinal uses. Loskiel cites the fact that "Salt has 
lately been found (1794) to be a powerful antidote (for rattle- 

1 Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XV, p. 163. 

^ Sagard-Theodat, Voyages, vol. I, p. 63, speaking of the Hurons, though 
apparently rather erroneously with regard to distance from salt springs, 
states that "we found ourselves very well while not eating salt, moreover we 
were nearly three hundred leagues from any salt waters. And upon my re- 
turn to Canada (Quebec) I was ill from eating it at first, after having abstained 
from it so long; which makes me think that salt is not necessary to the pre- 
servation of life or health." 

* Marie de I'lncarnation, Lettres, t. II, p. 64; quoted in Jesuit Relations 
R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLI, p. 256. 

* Jesuit Relations, R. G. Thwaites ed., vol. XLI, pp. 123, 125. 

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snake bite); and if immediately applied to the wound, or dis- 
solved in water and used as a lotion, no danger is to be feared."' 
It was also looked upon as a counteractant to witchcraft, the 
same writer remarking that "the Indians say that their poison 
and witchcraft has no effect upon white people, because they 
eat so much salt in their victuals. "^ 

A salt remedy, obtained among the Cayugas of Brant 
county,' was claimed to be effective for "inflammation of the 
bowels." Salt is placed in the patient's hands and on the feet. 
A decoction of black cherry bark is administered internally, and 
a poultice of the boiled bark applied to the abdomen. An 
Onondaga remedy for a burn or scald is to apply wet salt. 

An interesting taboo or restriction with regard to the use of 
salt is found everywhere in connexion with the ministrations of 
the Nega'ne'ga'a'* or Little Water Company. The patient who 
accepts their services and partakes of the medicine must be seen 
by no one for ten days but by an attendant, must eat only bread 
and cold water, and must abstain from all kinds of meat, salt, 
soda, etc. When the person becomes better, a white hen, white 
beans, rice, corn soup, a pig's head or other white-coloured 
article of food must be prepared, after which the restrictions are 

Young people of both sexes at puberty, according to an 
Oneida informant,' were formerly made to live in a shanty in 
the bush, with no fire and only one blanket. They were obliged 
to go in swimming, no matter how cold, and to engage in exer- 
cises for warmth. They would stay there for nearly a month. 
Boys were not allowed to eat anything hot at the time the voice 
changed, also no salt, pepper, or other materials of the kind. 
This was said to make the teeth good. 

' Loskiel, Hist, of the Mission of the United Brethren, pt. I, p. 114. 
"Ibid.i p. 119. 

' Mrs. Peter Atkins (Ca.), informant. 

* Onondaga name. This taboo is briefly noted by Adair, A Hist, of the 
American Indians, p. 125. 
6 Chief Alex. Hill. 
' Anthony Day. 

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Small bottles or receptacles for salt were formerly woven 
from the dried husks of corn and are still sometimes made by 
the older people. An Onondaga name given for these is unuya' 
g4tsi"da' (Plate XXXI, figs, d, e). 

Names for Salt. 

Onondaga — udjike^'da'. 

Mohawk — deyuhio'djis. 

Oneida — ongda'gel' (said to be for ongda'geli'). 

Cayuga — dj ike'da'. 

Seneca — od j i'ke'da' . 

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Adair, James. — History of the American Indians, London, 1775. 
American Anthropologist. 
American Folk-Lore, Journal of. 

Bartram, John. — Observations made by, in his journey from 
Pennsylvania to Onondago, Oswego and the Lake Ontario 
in Canada, London, 1751. 

Beauchamp, W. M. — New York State Museum Bulletin 41. 

Beverly, Robert. — ^The history and present State of Virginia, 
London, 1705. 

Boyle, Dr. David. — Ontario Archaeological reports. 

Brickell, John. — ^The natural history of North Carolina (from 
Lawson), ed. Dublin, 1737. 

Brinton, D. G.— Myths of the New World, New York, 1868. 

Bruyas. — Radices Verborum Iroquaeorum, J. M. Shea ed., Neo- 
Eboraci, 1863. 

Carr, Lucien. — ^The food of certain American Indians and their 
methods of preparing it, American Antiquarian Society 
proceedings, 1895, N. S. Vol. X. 

Carr, Lucien. — ^The mounds of the Mississippi valley, Smith- 
sonian report, 1891. 

Cartier, Jacques. — Bref R^cit et Succincte Narration, etc. 
(1535-36), Tross ed., Paris, 1863. 

Carver, Jonathan. — Travels through the interior parts of North 
America, London, 1778. 

Caswell, Mrs. H. S. — Our life among the Iroquois Indians, Bos- 
ton, 1892. 

Champlain, Samuel de — Voyages of. Prince Society ed., Boston, 

Charlevoix, Pierre F. X. de. — ^A voyage to North America, 
Dublin, 1766. 

Chaumonot, Pierre J. M. — Un Missionaire des Hurons (auto- 
biography), Paris, 1885. 

Coyne, Jas. H., ed. — Galin^e's narrative, Ontario Historical 
Society papers and records, 1903. 

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De CandoUe, A. L. P., Origin of Cultivated Plants, London, 1909. 

Darwin, Charles. — ^Varieties of plants and animals under domes- 
tication, Vol. I, New York, 1900. 

East, E. M. — A note concerning inheritance in sweet corn, 
Science, N. S., Vol. XXIX. 

East (E. M.) and Hayes. — Inheritance in maize. Bulletin 167, 
Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Conn. 

Gilmore, M. R. — ^The aboriginal geography of the Nebraska 
country. Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Society, Vol. VI. ' 

Handbook of American Indians, Bureau of American Ethnology, 
Washington, D.C. 

Hariot, Thomas. — ^A Briefe and true report of the new found land 
of Virginia, 1585-86, London, 1900. 

Harrington, M. R. — ^Some Seneca corn foods and their prepara- 
tion, American Anthropologist, N. S., Vol. X, 1908. 

Harshberger, J. W. — Cyclopedia of American agriculture. Vol. II. 

Heckewelder, Jno. G. E. — History, manners, and customs of 
the Indian nations which formerly inhabited Pennsylvania 
and the neighbouring states, from translation by Du Pon- 
ceau, Paris, 1822. 

Hennepin, Louis. — ^A new discovery of a vast country in America, 
ed. by R. G. Thwaites, Chicago, 1903. 

Henry, Alex. — Travels and adventures in Canada and the In- 
dian territories between the years 1760-1776, ed. by Jas. 
Bain, Toronto, 1901. 

Hunter, J. D. — Memoirs of a captivity among the Indians of 
North America, London, 1824. 

Jarvis, C. D. — American varieties of beans, Cornell University 
Bulletin 260. 

Jesuit Relations, The, R. G. Thwaites ed. 

Josselyn, Jno. — ^An account of two voyages to New England 
made during the years 1638-1663, Boston, 1865. 

Josselyn, Jno. — New England's rarities discovered, London, 

Kalm, Peter. — Travels into North America, London, 1771. 

Lafitau, Jos. Frangois. — Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriquains, 
Paris, 1724. 

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Lescarbot, Marc. — ^The History of New France, Paris, 1612. 
Loskiel, G. H. — History of the mission of the United Brethren 

among the Indians in North America, London, 1794, trans- 
lation by La Trobe. 
Mooney, Jas. — Ghost dance religion, 14th Annual Report of the 

Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Morgan, L. H. — League of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee or Iroquois, 

New York, 1904. 
Morgan, L. H. — Houses and house life of the American 

aborigines, Washington, D. C, 1881. 
Norton, A. T. — History of Sullivan's campaign, Lima, N.Y., 

Parker, A. C. — Iroquois uses of maize and other food plants. 

New York State Educational Department Bulletin 482 

(Museum Bulletin 144). 
Parker, A. C. — The code of Handsome Lake, New York State 

Educational Department Bulletin 530 (Museum Bulletin 

Pinkerton, John. — ^A general collection of. . . voyages and 

travels in all parts of the world, London, 1808-14. 
Russel, F. — ^The Pima Indians, 26th Annual Report of the 

Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Sagard-Theodat. — Le Grand Voyage du Pays des Hurons, Tross 

ed., Paris, 1865. 
Schoolcraft, H. R. — Information respecting the history, con- 
dition, and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United 

States, Archives of Aboriginal Knowledge, Vol. V, part I, 

Philadelphia, 1855. 
Seaver, James E. — ^A narrative of the life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, 

printed for R. Parkin, London, 1826. 
Shea, J. G. ed. — French-Onondaga dictionary (of 1 7th century). 

New York, 1859. 
Shea, J. G. ed.— Life of Jogues (by Martin), New York, 1885. 
Smith, Mrs. E. A. — Myths of the Iroquois, 2nd Annual Report 

of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Sturtevant, E. L. — Kitchen garden esculents of American origin. 

American Naturalist, Vol. XIX. 

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Sturtevant, E. L. — History of garden vegetables, American 

Naturalist, Vol. XXIII. 
Van der Donck. — New Netherlands (1656), New York Historical 

Society Transactions, series 2, Vol. I. 
Western Reserve Historical Society Tracts, No. 64. 
Williams, Roger. — A key into the language of America, collec- 
tions of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 

Wintemberg, W. J. — ^The use of shell by the Ontario Indians, 

Ontario Archaeological Report, 1907. 
Wissler, Clark. — The North American Indians of the Plains, 

Popular Science Monthly, May, 1913. 
Wood, Wm. — New England's Prospect, Prince Society ed., 

Boston, 1865. 

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Plate I. 

Digging stick, made by Peter Joiin, On. Actual length about 40 
inches, b. Corn washing basket of basswood inner bark. c. Planting 
basket with compartments for carrying seeds which are to be planted 
together, such as corn and beans. Division of Anthropology, Museum 
Nos. Ill I, 900, 1010, 890, Collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand River 
reserve, Ontario. (Page 15.) 


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Plate III. 



A. Onondaga longhouse, Grand River reserve, Ontario. 

B. Lower Cayuga longhouse, Grand River reserve. 

The small building at the back in each is the cook-house, where the food 
is prepared for use in ceremonies. The cook-house in A was the old long- 
house. (Page 12.) 

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Plate IX. 

Corncribof poles, farm of Jacob Schuyler, Oneidatown, Ontario. (Page 41.) 


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Plate X. 


A. Winter caches or pits for vegetables, Grand River reserve. (Page 43.) 

B. Method of tapping trees, same locaUty. (Page 141.) 

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Plate XI. 

Log houses of this kind, made like those of the early settlers, are quite common. 
These have practically no aboriginal features. A pine or other tree is 
often left for shade. Grand River reserve. (Page 49.) 

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Plate XII. 

Method of using bow drill in fire-making by friction. Division of Anthro- 
pology, Museum No. Ill I, 764. Collected by F. W. Waugh at Tona- 
wanda reserve, N.Y. (Page .50.) 

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Plate XIV. 



Heavy pack basket for gathering wood. Actual height of specimen about 
one foot. b. Pack basket made from bark of young hickories, c. 
Stones used in cracking corn or nuts. d. Muller and mealing slab for 
corn grinding, as used prehistorically and up to quite recent times. Divi- 
sion of Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 722, 892, 740 a, b; VIII F, 
5087. a and c collected by F. W. Waugh at Caughnawaga, Quebec; 
b collected at Grand River reserve. (Pages 54, 59, 61.) 

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Plate XV. 

Mrs. John Williams, Mohawk, of Caughnawaga, using mealing stones. This 
method is still remembered by some of the older people and was 
occasionally used up to a generation or two ago. The bowl is made of 
maple knot. (Pages 60, 64, 65.) 

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Plate XVI. 

Shell corn in preparation for hulling and grinding, at Six Nations reserve. 
(Page 80.) 

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Plate XVII. 

Washing the corn to remove the hulls, after it has been boiled in wood ashes 
or lye, at Grand Ri\-er reserve. (Page 80.) 

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Plate XIX. 


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Sifting the meal after it lias been ground in the mortar at Grand River reserve. 
The sifter being used is a "store" sieve. (Page 80.) 

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5 Plate XXII. 

c, d. Corn washing baskets, showing different styles of handle. Twilled 
weave, b. Flexible washing basket made of basswood inner bark, 
e. Pack basket for gathering corn. Actual height 16j inches. Division 
of Anthropology', Museum Nos. flf I, 206, 719, 891 a, 891 b, 342 a. 
a, c, and d collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand River reserve; b at 
Caughnawaga; e collected at Grand River reserve, per Chief John 
Gibson. (Pages 39, 61, 62.) 

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Plate XXIII. 

" c 

An old form of sifting basket, made of fiickory splints, b, c. The or- 
dinary form of sifting basket or sieve, made of black asli splints. Actual 
width about 10 inches. Division of Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 
721, 505, 271. a, collected at Caughnawaga by F. W. Waugh; b, col- 
lected at Seneca reserve, Oklahoma, by C. M. Barbeau; c, collected at 
Grand River reserve, by F. W. Waugh. (Pages 63, 64.) 

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Plate XXV. 

Bowls for bread-making and other household purposes, a is of beech, b and 
d of basswood, and c of maple. Obtained from Grand River reserve. 
Actual length of large bowl (d) about 2 feet, 4 inches. Di\ision of 
Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 96, 621, 339, 338. a, collected by 
E. Sapir; b, by F. W. Waugh; c and d per Chief John Gibson. (Page 

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Plate XXVII. 




Iroquois spoons and ladles. Length of a, about SJ inches. Division of 
Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 736, 273, 735, 359 a, 354, 360, 
757, 796. a, c, collected by F. W. Waugh at Caughnawaga; b, d, e, 
f, per John Gibson, Grand River reserve; g, by F. W. Waugh at 
Tonawanda, N.Y.; h, by F W. Waugh at Oneidatown, Ontario. 
(Page 67.) 

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Plate XXVIII. 



Iroquois spoons and ladles. Length of a, about 8 inches. Division of 
Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 274, 428, 786, 429, 16, 610, 17, 613. 
a, collected per Chief J. Gibson; b, d, by A. A. Goldenweiser at Grand 
River reserve; c, by F. W. Waugh at Onondaga Castle, N.Y. ; e, by 
M. R. Harrington at Grand River reserve; f, h, by F. W. Waugh 
at Grand River reserve; g, by M. R. Harrington at Cattaraugus, 
N.Y. (Page 67.) 

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Plate XXIX. 

Bread and stirring paddles. Length of a, 22| inches. Division of Anthro- 
pology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 756, 785, 49, 223, 18, 359 b. a, b, collected 
by F. W. Waugh at Tonawanda and Onondaga Castle respectively; 
c, by E. Sapir at Grand River reserve; d, by C. M. Barbeau at Seneca 
reserve, Oklahoma; e, by M. R. Harrington at Oneida reserve; f, per 
Chief J. Gibson, Grand River reserve. (Page 70.) 

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Plate XXX. 

Bread paddles. Length of a, 30 inches. Division of Anthropology, Museum 
Nos. Ill I, 287, 899, 424, 898, 353, 352. a, b, d, collected by F. W. 
Waugh at Grand River reserve; c, by C. M. Barbeau at Seneca re- 
serve, Oklahoma; e, f, per Chief J. Gibson, Grand River reserve. 
(Page 70.) 

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Plate XXXI. 

Knife of elm bark, used for skinning and other purposes. Actual length 
about 9 inches, b. Knife made from scale of hickory bark. c. Knife- 
like implement of flint, d. Corn-husk basket of a type frequently 
used for holding salt for table use. e. Corn-husk bottle for salt. Actual 
height, 3j inches. Division of Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 
1012, 1011, 1028, 79 b, 80. a, b, collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand 
River; c, collected by F. W. Waugh at Onondaga Castle, N.Y.; d, e, 
by E. Sapir at Grand River. (Pages 71, 154.) 

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Some Iroquois corn varieties. Division of Anthropology, Museum Nos. 
(beginning at upper left-hand corner) III I, 623, 294, 265, 627, 624, 
296, 295; III H, 138 a; III I, 622, 292 b, 298 a, 298 b, 835, 835 a, 835 b. 
a 1-7 and b 1-4 collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand River reserve; b 5-7, 
at Oneidatown, Ontario; a 8 is a variegated dent corn collected by C. M. 
Barbeau at Wyandotte, Oklahoma. It is also cultivated by the Iro- 
quois. (Pages 75, 76.) 

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Plate XXXIY. 

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Iroquois bean varieties: e 6, Purple Flageolet; f 1, Yellow Eye; f 2, Golden Wax, 
probably a hybrid of. Division of Anthropology, Museum Nos. (beginning 
at upper left-hand corner) 1111,318, 972, 312, 306, 317, 299,969, 971, 958, 
977, 978, 942, 967, 964, 316, 965, 941, 950, 940, 949, 968, 960, 943, 303, 
944, 545, 955, 946, 956, 301, 945, 315, 961, 937, 966, 314. e 2, collected 
by C. M. Barbeau at Seneca reserve, Oklahoma. The remainder collected 
by F. W. Waiigh, a 1-6, b 1-3, c 2, c 3, d 2, d 6, e 1, e 3, e 4, c 6, f 2, 
f 4-6 at Grand River reserve; b 4-6, c 1, c 4-6, d 1, d 3, d 4, e 5, f 1, f 3 
at Oneida town, Ontario; d 5, at Tonawanda, N.Y. (Pages 103, 105, 
106, 107.) 

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Plate XXXV. 

a, b. Baskets for drying berries or green corn, c, d, e. Berry-picking 
baskets for attaching to the belt. f. Pack basket for carrying berries 
Division of Anthropology, Museum Nos. Ill I, 751, 632, 487, 749, 748 
893. a, e, d, collected by F. W. Waugh at Tonawanda, N.Y.; b,' 
collected by F. W. Waugh at Grand River reserve; c, collected by C. M 
Barbeau at Seneca reserve, Oklahoma. (Pages 96, 126.) 

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Plate XXXVI. 



SIh^j^" 1 ^' flMH 


SMSMBaww«fc^-"^-^qi^, "^jigg 

l^'^"''^wB "^1^1^ 

VIethod of carrying game or provisions on pack frame 
Cayuga, Grand River reserve. (Page 131.) 

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The Geological Survey was established in 1842 and "Reports 
of Progress" were issued, generally in annual volumes, from that 
date to 1885, the first report being that for the year 1843 pub- 
lished in 1845. Beginning with the year 1885, "Annual Reports" 
(new series) were published in volumes until 1905, the last being 
Vol. XVI, 1904. Many of the individual reports and maps pub- 
lished before 1905 were issued separately and from 1905 to the 
present, all have been published as separates and no annual 
volume has been issued. Since 1910, the reports have been issued 
as Memoirs and Museum Bulletins, each subdivided into series, 
thus: — 

Memoir 41, Geological Series 38. 

Memoir 54, Biological Series Z. 

Museum Bulletin 5, Geological Series 21. 

Museum Bulletin 6, Anthropological Series 3. 

In addition to the publications specified above, a Summary 
Report is issued annually; and miscellaneous publications of 
various kinds including Reports of Explorations, Guide Books, 
etc., have been issued from time to time. 


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Publications Issued 1910-1915 Inclusive. 


Memoir 1. Geological Series 1. Geology of the Nipigon basin, Ontario, 

1910— by Alfred W. G. Wilson. 
Memoir 2. Geological Series 2. Geology and ore deposits of Hedley mining 

district, British Columbia, 1910 — by Charles Camsell. 
Memoir 3. Geological Series 3. Palseoniscid iishes from the Albert shales 

of New Brunswick, 1910 — by Lawrence M. Lambe. 
Memoir 4. Geological Series 7. Geological reconnaissance along the line of 

the National Transcontinental railway in western Quebec, 

1911— by W. J. Wilson. 
Memoir 5. Geological Series 4. Preliminary memoir on the Lewes and 

Nordenskiold Rivers coal district, Yukon Territory, 1910 — 

by D. D. Cairnes. 
Memoir 6. Geological Series 5. Geology of the Haliburton and Bancroft 

areas. Province of Ontario, 1910 — by Frank D. Adams and 

Alfred E. Barlow. 
Memoir 7. Geological Series 6. Geology of St. Bruno mountain. Province 

of Quebec, 1910 — by John A. Dresser. 
Memoir 8. Geological Series 8. The Edmonton coal field. Alberta, 1911 — 

by D. B. Dowling. 
Memoir 9. Geological Series 9. Bighorn coal basin. Alberta, 1911 — by 

G. S. Malloch. 
Memoir 10. Geological Series 10. An instrumental survey of the shore- 
lines of the extinct lakes Algonquin and Nipissing in south- 
western Ontario, 1911 — ^by J. W. Goldthwait. 
Memoir U. Topographical Series 1. Triangulation and spirit levelling 

of Vancouver island, B.C., 1909, issued 1910— by R. H. 

Memoir 12. Geological Series 11. Insects from the Tertiary lake deposits 

of the southern interior of British Columbia, collected by 

Mr. Lawrence M. Lambe, in 1906, issued 1911 — by Anton 

Memoir 13. Geological Series 14. Southern Vancouver island, 1912 — by 

Charles H. Clapp. 
Memoir 14. Biological Series 1. New species of shells collected by Mr. 

John Macoun at Barkley sound, Vancouver island, British 

Columbia, 1911— by William H. Dall and Paul Bartsch. 
Memoir IS. Geological Series 12. On a Trenton Echinoderm fauna at 

Kirkfield, Ontario, 1911 — by Frank Springer. 
Memoir 16. Geological Series 13. The clay and shale deposits of Nova 

Scotia and portions of New Brunswick, 1911 — by Heinrich 

Ries assisted by Joseph Keele. 
Memoir 17. Geological Series 28. Geology and economic resources of the 

Larder Lake district, Ont., and adjoining portions of Pontiac 

county. Que., 1913— by Morley E. Wilson. 
Memoir 18. Geological Series 19. Bathurst district. New Brunswick, 1913 — 

by G. A. Young. 
Memoir 19. Geological Series 26. Geology of Mother Lode and Sunset 

mines. Boundary district, B.C., 1914 — by O. E. LeRoy. 
Memoir 20. Geological Series 41. Gold fields of Nova Scotia, 1914 — by W. 


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Memoir 21. 
Memoir 22. 
Memoir 23. 

Memoir 24. 

Memoir 25. 

Memoir 26. 
Memoir 27. 

Memoir 28. 

Memoir 29. 
Memoir 30. 
Memoir 31. 
Memoir 32. 

Memoir 33. 
Memoir 34. 
Memoir 35. 

Memoir 36. 
Memoir 37. 
Memoir 38. 

Memoir 39. 
Memoir 40. 
Memoir 41. 
Memoir 42. 
Memoir 43. 
Memoir 44. 
Memoir 45. 

Geological Series 15. The geology and ore deposits of Phoenix 

Boundary district, British Columbia, 1912— by O. E. LeRoy 
Geological Series 27. Preliminary report on the serpentines and 

associated rocks, in southern Quebec, 1914— by J. A. Dresser. 
Geological Series 23. Geology of the coast and islands between 

the Strait of Georgia and Queen Charlotte sound, B.C.. 

1914^by J. Austen Bancroft. 
Geological Series 16. Preliminary report on the clay and shale. 

deposits of the western provinces, 1912 — by Heinrich Ries 

and Joseph Keele. 
Geological Series 21. Report on the clay and. shale deposits 

of the western provinces, Part II, 1914 — by Heinrich Ries 

and Joseph Keele. 
Geological Series 34. Geology and mineral deposits of the 

Tulameen district, B.C., 1913— by C. Camsell. 
Geological Series 17. Report of the Commission appointed 

to investigate Turtle mountain, Frank, Alberta, 1911, issued 

Geological Series 18. .The Geology of Steeprock lake, Ontario — 

by Andrew C. Lawson. Notes on fossils from limestone of 

Steeprock lake, Ontario, 1912 — by Charles D. Walcott. 
Geological Series 32. Oil and gas prospects of the northwest 

provinces of Canada, 1913 — by W. Malcolm. 
Geological Series 40. The basins of Nelson and Churchill 

rivers, 1914 — by William Mclnnes. 
Geological Series 20. Wheaton district, Yukon Territory, 

1913— by D. D. Cairnes. 
Geological Series 25. Portions of Portland Canal and Skeena 

Mining divisions, Skeena district, B.C., 1914 — ^by R. G. 

Geological Series 30. The geology of Gowganda Mining 

Division, 1913— by W. H. Collins. 
Geological Series 63. The Devonian of southwestern Ontario, 

1915- by C. R. Stauffer. 
Geological Series 29. Reconnaissance along the National 

Transcontinental railway in southern Quebec, 1913 — John 

A. Dresser. 
Geological Series 33. Geology of the Victoria and Saanich 

map-areas, Vancouver island, B.C., 1914 — by C. H. Clapp. 
Geological Series 22. Portions of Atlin district, B.C., 1913 — 

by D. D. Cairnes. 
Geological Series 31. Geology of the North American Cor- 
dillera at the forty-ninth parallel, Parts I and II, 1913 — by 

Reginald Aldworth Daly. 
Geological Series 35. Kewagama Lake map-area, Quebec, 

1914— by M. E. Wilson. 
Geological Series 24. The Archaean geology of Rainy lake, 

1914 — by Andrew C. Lawson. 
Geological Series 38. The "Fern Ledges" Carboniferous flora 

of St. John, New Brunswick, 1914 — by Marie C. Stopes. 
Anthropological Series 1. The double-curve motive in north- 
eastern Algonkian art, 1914 — by Frank G. Speck. 
Geological Series 36. St. Hilaire (Beloeil) and Rougemont 

mountains, Quebec, 1914 — by J. J. O'Neill. 
Geological Series 37. Clay and shale deposits of New Bruns- 
wick, 1914^ by J. Keele. 
Anthropological Series 3. The inviting-in feast of the Alaska 
Eskimo, 1914— by E. W. Hawkes. 

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Memoir 46. Anthropological Series 7. Classification of Iroquoian radicals 

and subjective pronominal prefixes, 1915 — by C. M. Barbeau. 
Memoir 47. Geological Series 39. Clay and shale deposits of the western 

provinces, Part III, 1914 — by Heinrich Ries. 
Memoir 48. Anthropological Series 2. Some myths and tales of the Ojibwa 

of southeastern Ontario, 1914 — by Paul Radin. 
Memoir 49. Anthropological Series 4. Malecite tales, 1914 — by W. H. 

Memoir 50. Geological Series 51. Upper White River district, Yukon, 

1915— by D. D. Cairnes. 
Memoir 51. Geological Series 43. Geology of the Nanaimo map-area, 1914 — 

by C. H. Clapp. 
Memoir 52. Geological Series 42. Geological notes to accompany map 

of Sheep River gas and oil field. Alberta, 1914 — by D. B. 

Memoir 53. Geological Series 44. Coal fields of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, 

Alberta, and eastern British Columbia (revised edition), 

1914— by D. B. Dowling. 
Memoir 54. Biological Series 2. Annotated list of flowering plants and 

ferns of Point Pelee, Ont., and neighbouring districts, 1914 — 

by C. K. Dodge. 
Memoir 55. Geological Series 46. Geology of Field map-area. Alberta and 

British Columbia, 1914 — by John A. Allan. 
Memoir 56. Geological Series 56. Geology of Franklin mining camp, B.C., 

1915— by Chas. W. Drysdale. 
Memoir 57. Geological Series 50. Corundum, its occurrence, distribution, 

exploitation, and uses, 1915 — by A. E. Barlow. 
Memoir 58. Geological Series 48. Texada island, 1915 — by R. G. McCon- 

Memoir 59. Geological Series 55. Coal fields and coal resources of Canada, 

191S— by D. B. Dowling. 
Memoir 60. Geological Series 47. Arisaig-Antigonish district, 1915 — by 

M. Y. Williams. 
Memoir 61. Geological Series 45. Moose Mountain district, southern 

Alberta (second edition) 1914 — by D. D. Cairnes. 
Memoir 62. Anthropological Series 5. Abnormal types of speech in Nootka, 

1915— by E. Sapir. 
Memoir 63. Anthropological Series 6. Noun reduplication in Comox, a 

Salish language of Vancouver island, 1915 — by E. Sapir. 
Memoir 64. Geological Series 52. Preliminary report on the clay and shale 

deposits of the Province of Quebec, 1915 — by J. Keele. 
Memoir 65. Geological Series 53. Clay and shale deposits of the western 

provinces, Part IV, 1915 — by H. Ries. 
Memoir 66. Geological Series 54. Clay and shale deposits of the western 

provinces, Part V, 1915 — by J. Keele. 
Memoir 67. Geological Series 49. The Yukon-Alaska Boundary between 

Porcupine and Yukon rivers, 1915- — by D. D. Cairnes. 
Memoir 68. Geological Series 59. A geological reconnaissance between 

Golden and Kamloops, B.C., along the line of the Canadian 

Pacific railway, 1915 — by R. A. Daly. 
Memoir 69. Geological Series 57. Coal fields of British Columbia, 1915 — 

D. B. Dowling. 
Memoir 70. Anthropological Series 8. Family hunting territories and social 

life of the various Algonkian bands of the Ottawa valley, 

1915— by F. G- Speck. 
Memoir 71. Anthropological Series 9. Myths and folk-lore of the Timis- 

kaming Algonquin and Timagami Ojibwa, 1915 — by F. G. 


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Memoir 72. Geological Series 60. The artesian wells of Montreal, 191S— 

by C. L. Cumming. 
Memoir 73. Geological Series 58. The Pleistocene and Recent deposits of 

the Island of Montreal, 1915— by J. Stansfield. 
Memoir 74. Geological Series 61. A list of Canadian mineral occurrences, 

19 IS— by R. A. A. Johnston. 
Memoir 75. Anthropological Series 10. Decorative art of Indian tribes of 

Connecticut, 1915 — by Frank G. Speck. 
Memoir 76. Geological Series 62. Geology of the Cranbrook map-area, 

1915^by S. J. Schofield. 
Memoir 77. Geological Series 64. Geology and ore deposits of Rossland, 

B.C., 1915— by C. W. Drysdale. 
Memoir 78. Geological Series 66. Wabana iron ore of Newfoundland, 1915 — 

by A. O. Hayes. 
Memoir 79. Geological Series 65. Ore deposits of the Beaverdell map-area, 

1915 — by L. Reinecke. 
Memoir 80. Anthropological Series 11. Huron and Wyandot mythology, 

1915— by C. M. Barbeau. 
Memoir 81, Geological Series 67. Oil and gas fields of Ontario and Quebec, 

1915 — by Wyatt Malcolm. 
Memoir 82. Geological Series 68. Rainy River district, Ontario. Surficial 

geology and soils, 1915 — by W. A. Johnston. 


The Museum Bulletins, published by the Geological Survey, are num- 
bered consecutively and are given a series number in addition, thus: Geological 
Series No. 1, 2, 3, etc.; Biological Series No. 1, 2, 3, etc.; Anthropological 
Series No. 1, 2, 3, etc. 

In the case of Bulletins 1 and 2, which contain articles on various subjects, 
each article has been assigned a separate series number. 

The first Bulletin was entitled Victoria Memorial Museum Bulletin; 
subsequent issues have been called Museum Bulletins. 

Mus. Bull. 1. Geological Series 1. The Trenton crinoid, Ottawacrinus, 
(Issued 1913). W. R. Billings— by F. A. Bather. 

Geological Series 2. Note on Merocrinus, Walcott — by F. A. 

Geological Series 3. The occurrence of Helodont teeth at 

Roche Miette and vicinity. Alberta — b}^ L. M. Lambe. 
Geological Series 4. Notes on Cyclocystoides — by P. E, 

Geological Series 5. Notes on some new and old Trilobites in 

the Victoria Memorial Museum — by P. E. Raymond. 
Geological Series 6. Description of some new Asaphidae — by 

■ P. E. Raymond. 
Geological Series 7. Two new species of Tetradium — by P. E. 

Geological Series 8. Revision of the species which have been 

referred to the genus Bathyurus (preliminary report) — 

by P. E. Raymond. 
Geological Series 9. A new Brachiopod from the base of the 

Utica — ^by A. E. Wilson. 
Geological Series 10. A new genus of dicotyledonous plant 

from the Tertiary of Kettle river, British Columbia — 

by W. J. Wilson. 
Geological Series 11. A new species of Lepidostrobus — by 

W. J. Wilson. 

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Geological Series 12. Prehnite from Adams sound, Admiralty 

inlet, Baffin island, Franklin — by R. A. A. Johnston. 
Biological Series. 1. The marine algae of Vancouver island — 

by F. S. Collins. 
Biological Series 2. New species of moUusks from the Atlantic 
and Pacific coasts Of Canada — by W. H. Dall and P. 
Biological Series 3. Hydroids from Vancouver island and 

Nova Scotia — by C. McLean Fraser. 
Anthropological Series 1. The archaeology of Blandford town- 
ship, Oxford county, Ontario — by W. J. Wintemberg. 

Mu3. Bull. 2. Geological Series 13. The origin of granite (micropegmatite) 

(Issued 1914). in the Purcell sills— by S. J. Schofield. _ 

Geological Series 14. Columnar structure in limestone — by 

E. M. Kindle. 
Geological Series 15. Supposed evidences of subsidence of the 
coast of New Brunswick within modern time — by J. W. 
Geological Series 16. The Pre-Cambrian (Beltian) rocks of 
southeastern British Columbia and their correlation by 
S. J. Schofield. 
Geological Series 17. Early Cambrian stratigraphy in the 
North American Cordillera, with discussion of Albertella 
and related faunas — by L. D. Burling. 
Geological Series 18. A preliminary study of the variations 
of the plications of Parastrophia hemiplicata. Hall — 
by A. E. Wilson. 
Anthropological Series 2. Some aspects of puberty fasting 
among the Ojibwa — by Paul Radin. 

Mus. Bull. 3. Geological Series 19. The Anticosti Island faunks, 1914 — ^by 
W. H. Twenhofel. 

Mus. Bull. 4. Geological Series 20. The Crowsnest volcanics, 1914 — by J. D 

Mus. Bull. 5. Geological Series 21. A Beatricea-like organism from the 
middle Ordovician, 1914 — by P. E. Raymond. 

Mus. Bull. 6. Anthropological Series 3. Prehistoric and present commerce 
among the Arctic Coast Eskimo, 1915 — by V. Stefansson. 

Mus. Bull. 7. Biological Series 4. A new species of Dendragapus (Dendra- 
gapus Obscucus Flemingi) from southern Yukon Terri- 
tory, 1914 — by P. A. Taverner. 

Mus. Bull. 8. Geological Series 22. The Huronian formations of Timiskaming 
region, Canada, 1914 — by W. H. Collins. 

Mus. Bull. 9. Anthropological Series 4. The Glenoid Fossa in the skull of 
the Eskimo, 1915 — by F. H. S. Knowles. 

Mus. Bull. 10. Anthropological Series 5. The social organization of the 
Winnebago Indians, an interpretation, 1915 — by P. 

Mus. Bull. 11. Geological Series 23. Physiography of the Beaverdell map- 
area and the southern part of the Interior plateaus of 
British Columbia, 1915 — by L. Reinecke. 

Mus. Bull. 12. Geological Series 24. On Eoceratops Canadensis, gen. nov., 
with remarks on other genera of Cretaceous horned dino- 
saurs, 1915 — by L. M. Lambe. 

Mus. Bull. 13. Biological Series 5. The double-crested Cormorant (Phala- 
crocorax Auritus) and its relation to the salmon industries 
on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 1915 — by P. A. Taverner. 

Mus. Bull. 14. Geological Series 25. The occurrence of glacial drift on the 
Magdalen islands, 1915 — by J. W. Goldthwait. 

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Mus. Bull. IS. Geological Series 26. Gay Gulch and Skookum meteorites 

1915— by R. A. A. Johnston. 
Mus. Bull. 16. Anthropological Series 6. Literary aspects of North American 

mythology, 1915 — by, P. Radin. 
Mus. Bull. 17. Geological Series 27. The Ordovician rocks of Lake Timis- 

kaming, 1915— by M. Y. Williams. 
Mus. BtJLL. 18. Geological Series 28. Structural relations of the Pre-Cam- 

brian and Palaeozoic rocks north of the Ottawa and St. 

Lawrence valleys, 1915 — ^by E. M. Kindle and L. D. 

Mus. Bull. 19. Anthropological Series 7. A sketch of the social organization 

of the Nass River Indians, 1915 — by E. Sapir. 
Mus. Bull. 20. Geological Series 29. An Eurypterid horizon in the Niagara 

formation of Ontario, 1915 — by M. Y. Williams. 
Mus. Bull. 21. Geological Series 30. Notes on the geology and palseon- 

tology of the lower Saskatchewan River valley, 1915 — 

by E. M. Kindle. 


Report on a geological reconnaissance of the region traversed by the 
National Transcontinental railway between Lake Nipigon and Clay lake, 
Ont., 1910— by W. H. Collins. 

Report on the geological position and characteristics of the oil-shale 
deposits of Canada, 1910— by R. W. Ells. 

A reconnaissance across the Mackenzie mountains on the Pelly, Ross, 
and Gravel rivers, Yukon and North West Territories, 1910 — by Joseph Keele. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1909, issued 1910. 

Report on a traverse through the southern part of the North West Terri- 
tories, from Lac Seul to Cat Take, in 1902, issued 1911— by Alfred W. G. 

Report on a part of the North West Territories drained by the Winisk 
and Upper Attawapiskat rivers, 1911 — by W.McInnes. 

Report on the geology of an area adjoining the east side of Lake Timii- 
kaming, 1911 — by Morley E. Wilson. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1910, issued 1911. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1911, issued 1912. 

Guide Book No. 1. Excursions in eastern Quebec and the Maritime 
Provinces, parts 1 and 2, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 2. Excursions in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and 
the eastern part of Ontario, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 3. Excursions in the neighbourhood of Montreal and 
Ottawa, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 4. Excursions in southwestern Ontario, 1913. 

Guide Book No. S. Excursions in the western peninsula of Ontario and 
Manitoulin island, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 8. Toronto to Victoria and return via Canadian Pacific 
and Canadian Northern railways; parts 1, 2, and 3, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 9. Toronto to Victoria and return via Canadian Pacific, 
Grand Trunk Pacific, and National Transcontinental railways, 1913. 

Guide Book No. 10. Excursions in northern British Columbia and 
Yukon Territory and along the north Pacific coast, 1913. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1912, issued 1914. 

Prospector's Handbook No. 1. Notes on radium-bearing minerals, 
1914 — by Wyatt Malcolm. . 

The archaeological collection from the southern interior of British Colum* 
bia, 1914— by Harlan I. Smith. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1913, issued 1915. 

Summary Report for the calendar year 1914, issued 1915. 

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